Regioselectively substituted alkylcellulose ethers having long alkyl side chains, 6-O- (6C18), 2,3-di-O-(23C18), and tri-O-octadecyl-cellulose (triC 18) were successfully synthesized. The key step of these syntheses was removal of the residual alkylation reagent by an isothermal crystallization procedure to isolate and purify the compounds, since a physical entanglement between the long alkyl side chains in the cellulose derivatives and the reagent had caused difficulty in obtaining the purified derivatives. After the monolayers from these cellulose ethers were fabricated on a water surface, they were deposited on substrates by a vertical dipping method to be Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) monolayers. During the compression process of each monolayer, a surface pressure (π)-area (A) isotherm behaved in a different way. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was employed to interpret changes of the surface topography of the obtained LB monolayers depending on the surface pressure. The compressed 23C18 LB monolayer was observed to be more homogeneous than other samples. On the basis of the LB monolayer thickness estimated by AFM as well as X-ray reflection measurements, the 23C18 LB monolayer was assumed to possibly possess the vertical arrangement of an up-ordering of all the alkyl side chains on the individual glucose ring against the water surface. In other words, with increase in the surface pressure, the usual conformation of a 21 screw of cellulose backbone may be changed into an unusual conformation with a certain φ-ψ dihedral angle resulting in 1-fold axis without a symmetry element. These results suggest that the formation of such compressed LB monolayers was strongly influenced by the hydrophobic interaction among the distribution of the long alkyl side chains in the anhydroglucose unit and further lack of inter- and/or intramolecular hydrogen bonds engaged in cellulose ethers, and as a result, those effects may even change the main chain conformation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces