Faculté des sciences

Anomalous phase sequences in lyotropic liquid crystals

Lee, Won Bo ; Mezzenga, Raffaele ; Fredrickson, Glenn H.

In: Physical Review Letters, 2007, vol. 77, p. 187801

We present a coarse-grained model in order to describe the unusual sequence of mesophases observed in aqueous solutions of nonionic lipids, such as monoolein. The lipid molecules are modeled as a rigid head and a flexible Gaussian tail, and water is treated explicitly. A key component of the model is thermally reversible hydrogen bonding between the lipid head and water resulting in changes in... Plus

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    Summary
    We present a coarse-grained model in order to describe the unusual sequence of mesophases observed in aqueous solutions of nonionic lipids, such as monoolein. The lipid molecules are modeled as a rigid head and a flexible Gaussian tail, and water is treated explicitly. A key component of the model is thermally reversible hydrogen bonding between the lipid head and water resulting in changes in both head volume and the interactions of the hydrated head with its surroundings. Phase diagrams obtained from unit-cell self-consistent field simulations capture the qualitative thermotropic and lyotropic phase behavior of the monoolein-water system. The unusual phase sequences result from a competition between hydrogen bond formation, changes in head volume and interactions, lipid tail entropy, and the hydrophobic effect.