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    We study the dynamics of pure oleic acid and grafted oleic acid synthesized by decomposing iron oleate into oleic acid grafted iron oxide nanoparticles. Our quasielastic neutron scattering study shows that oleic acid dominantly performs translational diffusion at room temperature. On the other hand, in nanocomposites, constraints imposed by grafting and crowding of neighboring chains restrict the grafted oleic acid to uniaxial rotation. Interestingly, it also manifests mobility in grafted oleic acid below the crystallization temperature of pure oleic acid. The data from grafted oleic acid could be effectively described using a uniaxial rotational diffusion model with an additional elastic scattering contribution. This kind of elastic scattering arises due to the restricted bond mobility and increases with decreasing temperature. The radius of rotation obtained from the fitted data agrees very well with the geometry of the molecule and grafting density. These results open possibilities of research on the confined surfactant systems, which could be analyzed using the approach described here.


    Aakash Sharma, Margarita Kruteva, Michaela Zamponi, Sascha Ehlert, Dieter Richter, Stephan Förster. Quasielastic neutron scattering reveals the temperature dependent rotational dynamics of densely grafted oleic acid. The Journal of chemical physics. 2022 Apr 28;156(16):164908

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    PMID: 35490007

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