The focus of this thesis has been on the effects of segregation in mixtures of amphiphilic molecules. Two different systems were investigated: fluorocarbon-hydrocarbon surfactant mixtures and lipid-surfactant mixtures.
In fluorocarbon-hydrocarbon surfactant mixtures the repulsive interactions between the chains can lead to a demixing into different types of coexisting micelles, fluorocarbon rich and hydrocarbon rich. From NMR self-diffusion measurements such a demixing was found to occur in the mixture of the partially fluorinated surfactant HFDePC and C16TAC. We furthermore suggested a demixing also within the micelles to explain 19F-NMR line width data and results from neutron scattering.
In lipid-surfactant mixtures, a segregation of the molecules may instead be caused by a difference in the preferred curvature of the lipid and the surfactant residing within the same aggregate. Using a surfactant selective electrode, binding isoterms of four different cationic surfactants (C12TAC, C14TAC, C16TAC and HFDePC) to preformed lipid (GMO) vesicles were determined. Perforated vesicles were observed by cryo-TEM in the mixture with C16TAC. To explain the results from the binding isoterms, the formation of pores in the bilayer was regarded as a cooperative process, similar to micelle formation. The surfactant accumulates at the edges of the pores, and increasing the surfactant concentration results in an increased number of pores with a constant surfactant/lipid ratio at the edges.
The lipid-surfactant mixtures were also studied at the solid/solution interface using AFM. An adsorbed mesh structure, a counterpart to the bulk perforated lamellar phase, was observed for the first time.