Lighting up the stage : ultrafast dynamics of the reverse micelle interface



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Confined reaction environments are known to favorably impact many chemical and physical processes in biology, pharmaceutics, polymer and nanoparticle synthesis, catalysis, and separations. An ideal system for studying confined reaction environments is through utilizing reverse micelles. A reverse micelle is a type of microemulsion in surfactants aggregates containing nanoscopic pools of polar are liquid dispersed in a continuous nonpolar liquid. However, the effects of confinement on the free energy landscape of chemical and physical processes at the interface have not been fully explored. To investigate this, a combination of linear and ultrafast two-dimensional infrared spectroscopies, along with molecular dynamics simulations, are used. These techniques provide sub-picosecond temporal and atomistic structural resolution, enabling the identification of molecular interactions. By analyzing the observed interactions, dynamical information can be extracted with sub-picosecond time resolution. The surfactants at the reverse micelle interface serve as a vibrational probe, allowing for the detection of interactions between encapsulated species and the surfactant-water interface.



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