Characterization of the solvation environment provided by dilute aqueous solutions of novel siloxane polysoaps using the fluorescence probe pyrene

Siddharth Pandey, Rebecca A. Redden, Ashley E. Hendricks, Kristin A. Fletcher, Christopher P. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Solubilization environment afforded by several of the novel allyl glycidyl ether-modified methylhydrosiloxane polymers are investigated using a common polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon fluorescence probe, pyrene. The backbone of the polymer has been modified by the addition of an alkyl chain of varying length (either C8, C12, or C18) and to differing degrees of substitution. The nomenclature adopted for the purposes of these studies is as follows: "AGENT" represents the backbone polymer with no alkyl substitution, and "OAGENT," "DAGENT," and "SAGENT" are substituted with n-octyl, n-dodecyl, and n-octadecyl, respectively. The percentage of alkyl substitution is designated as 10, 15, and 20%. The pyrene polarity scale (defined as the ratio of the intensity of peak I to peak III) was used to determine the relative dipolarity of the cybotactic region provided by ∼1 w/w% aqueous polymer solutions compared to 10 mM sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) micellar solution. Results indicate that 10-15% DAGENT afforded the most hydrophobic solubilization site, followed by 15% OAGENT and 15% SAGENT. In addition, as the degree of alkyl substitution of DAGENT increased from 10 to 20%, the cybotactic region appeared to become more hydrophobic. Furthermore, a deeper investigation into the relative size of the solubilization site revealed that all alkyl-substituted polymers promoted excimer formation at relatively low pyrene concentrations, indicating the possibility of localized concentration enhancement within the solvation pockets and/or compartmentalization of the solute molecules. The pyrene fluorescence excitation data strongly indicates ground-state heterogeneity that is most prominent in AGENT and decreases as the alkyl chain length is increased. This provides a relative sense of the size and shape of the solvation pockets afforded by each polymer solution. An overall analysis of the collected data indicated that these alkyl-substituted polymers may provide a more selective and efficient pseudostationary phase in electrokinetic chromatography with better solvation capacity for hydrophobic compounds compared to SDS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-587
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2003


  • Excimer
  • Fluorescence
  • Polarity probe
  • Polysiloxane
  • Polysoaps
  • Pyrene
  • Solvation environments
  • Solvatochromic probe


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