Gemini metallo-surfactants: Chemical and physical properties

Erich I Valenzuela, University of Texas at El Paso


Gemini surfactants are amphiphilic molecules that consist of two surfactant molecules chemically joined together by a spacer group. These molecules tend to self-assemble into vesicles at much lower concentrations than traditional surfactants and have found many applications in catalysis, adsorption applications, drug-delivery, nanoscale technology, and biotechnology. In this thesis, the synthesis, characterization and physical properties of a new type of Gemini surfactant derived from dinuclear Cu(II) metal complexes is presented. We call these molecules Gemini Metal-Organic Surfactants (GMOs). Three newly developed new GMOs (compounds 1-3) are composed of Cu(II) ions ligated to a lipid-functionalized triamine group and the metals are bridged by a bipyridyl spacer group. The head groups of the resulting GMOs were characterized via X-ray crystallography. The GMO self-assemble in water into stable metallo-liposomes, which were characterized with mass spectrometry (MS), Infrared (IR), fluorescent optical microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The Critical Micelle Concentration (CMC) of the GMOs were determined with Nile Red-stained Fluorescent Optical Microscopy as a function of concentration and the results were 1.9 X10−4 M for 1, 4.1 X10−4M for 2, and 4.9 X 10−4M for 3.

Subject Area

Inorganic chemistry|Organic chemistry|Polymer chemistry

Recommended Citation

Valenzuela, Erich I, "Gemini metallo-surfactants: Chemical and physical properties" (2011). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1498323.