The effect of confinement on the dynamical properties of liquid water is investigated for water enclosed in cationic reverse micelles. The authors performed mid-infrared ultrafast pump-probe spectroscopy on the OH-stretch vibration of isotopically diluted HDO in D2O in cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) reverse micelles of various sizes. The authors observe that the surfactant counterions are inhomogeneously distributed throughout the reverse micelle, and that regions of extreme salinity occur near the interfacial Stern layer. The authors find that the water molecules in the core of the micelles show similar orientational dynamics as bulk water, and that water molecules in the counterion-rich interfacial region are much less mobile. An explicit comparison is made with the dynamics of water confined in anionic sodium bis(2-ethythexyl) sulfosuccinate (AOT) reverse micelles. The authors find that interfacial water in cationic CTAB reverse micelles has a higher orientational mobility than water in anionic AOT reverse micelles.

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Journal J. Chem. Phys.
Dokter, A.M, Woutersen, S, & Bakker, H.J. (2007). Ultrafast dynamics of water in cationic micelles. J. Chem. Phys., 126(Article number: 124507), 1–10. doi:10.1063/1.2721527