Catanionic surfactants result from the pairing of oppositely charged amphiphilic molecules, forming a new class of surfactant molecules with various interesting lyotropic and thermotropic properties. With the aim of probing the role of both headgroup chemical nature/structure and molecular shape, a series of catanionic surfactants were synthesized. The cationic portion of the molecule is kept constant, being the dioctadecyldimethylammonium double chain. Different single-chained surfactants with varying headgroups and chain lengths are used as the anionic pair. The thermotropic behavior has been studied by DSC and the mesophase structural investigated by polarizcd light microscopy. The results indicate that, for a given chain length, parameters such as headgroup polarity and charge density, as well as volume, influence the catanionic surfactant behavior. The thermodynamic parameters are qualitatively evaluated, considering the headgroup chemical nature and the overall molecular structure.
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