Time-resolved optical Kerr effect spectroscopy has been used to probe the molecular environment afforded by the hydrophobic core of oil-in-water microemulsions. This was achieved by measuring the ultrafast dynamics of a series of benzene derivatives (benzonitrile, nitrobenzene, fluorobenzene, styrene, and toluene) incorporated as the oil phase within oil-in-water microemulsions and comparing them to the dynamics in neat liquid and the liquid diluted in nonpolar solvent. Polar and strongly interacting liquids (benzonitrile and nitrobenzene) showed dynamics in the microemulsion that are similar to those in the solution phase, while weakly interacting and mildly polar liquids (fluorobenzene, styrene and toluene) reveal dynamics more similar to those of the neat liquid. This suggests stabilization of the polar dispersed phase in polar regions of the micelle.
- ultrafast dynamics
- monosubstituted benzenes
- dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide (DTAB)
- aqueous micelles