Novel discrete micellar cubic phase from a mixture of GMO/ethanol/water

Rivka Efrat, Abraham Aserin, Dganit Danino, Ellen J. Wachtel, Nissim Garti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


During the reconstruction the ternary phase diagram of glycerol monooleate (GMO)/ethanol/water, we detected a novel structure not previously seen. The new phase, denoted QL (micellar cubic liquid), is located within the 49-54 wt.-% water/41-33 wt.-% GMO binary mixture line and at 10-13 wt.-% EtOH in a small island within the phase diagram close to the cubic liquid-crystalline phase region. The QL phase is transparent (not tinted), of a low viscosity (36.6 Pa s), non-birefringent, and stable at room temperature. Evidence from severe centrifugation, synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements, and rheological behavior revealed that the sample is a single phase. SAXS reflections suggest that two types of domain may coexist. The symmetry of the QL phase is Pm3n. A cubic micellar structure is the dominant mesostructure of this unique sample. Cryo-TEM images show highly ordered domains with cubic symmetry, of lattice parameter 103 ± 2 Å. A possible transformation pathway to the QL phase is a 'rupture and refusion' mechanism, as the phase seems to have discontinuous symmetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-766
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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