Surface activity and self-aggregation ability of three cationic quaternized aminocalix[4]arenes

Elena V. Ukhatskaya, Sergey V. Kurkov, Roman V. Rodik, Vitaly I. Kalchenko, Susan E. Matthews, Phatsawee Jansook, Thorsteinn Loftsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The self-aggregation ability of three amphiphilic cationic calix[4]arenes possessing four quaternary amino groups (aminoCAs) was investigated using a variety of methods. All of the studied compounds possess high aggregation ability. Their critical aggregation concentration (CAC) values in water are in the 0.0009-0.04 % (w/v) concentration range. Several size populations of aggregates were detected by DLS for all three CAs, and restructuring of aggregates was observed to be dependent on concentration. Particles formed above CAC were attributed to formation of vesicular structures (vesicles). The coexistence of other type of aggregates (presumably micelles) with vesicles was observed in the aqueous solution of CAs 2 and 3 from concentrations of 0.5 and 0.8 % (w/v), respectively. The filtration procedure was found to be a significant factor since the obtained data from filtered and unfiltered samples was different. The particle sizes obtained by TEM measurements were somewhat correlated with the DLS data for unfiltered CAs solutions. An analysis of the aggregate composition was undertaken by a size-exclusion method using semi-permeable cellophane membranes with different MWCO. A negative deviation from linearity of permeability flux profile starting from 0.8 % (w/v) concentration of donor phase indicated that the fraction of large aggregates at this point is significant enough that the molecules could not easily permeate through the membranes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-483
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Inclusion Phenomena and Macrocyclic Chemistry
Issue number3
Early online date31 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Aggregation
  • Calixarenes
  • Micelles
  • Nanoparticles
  • Surfactant
  • Vesicles

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