Journal of oleo science

Dynamic molecular behavior of semi-fluorinated oleic, elaidic and stearic acids in the liquid state.

PMID 23138254


Ordinary fatty acids such as oleic, elaidic and stearic acids exist as their hydrogen-bonded dimers in their liquids and in non-polar solvents. Infrared (IR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy have revealed that semi-fluorinated (SF) acids containing a perfluorooctyl group (C₈F₁₇) as a terminal segment exist also as hydrogen-bonded dimers, which are the units of inter- and intramolecular movements in their liquids and CCl₄. The dynamic molecular properties, such as self-diffusion coefficients and intramolecular movements of SF-oleic, SF-elaidic, and SF-stearic acids were compared with those of corresponding ordinary fatty acids (H-acids). From the high equilibrium spreading pressures (ESPs) for SF-acids compared with those for their corresponding H-acids, it was expected that the inter-acyl chain interaction is weaker for the SF-acid than for the H-acid: the SF-fatty acids should have higher molecular mobility than the corresponding ordinary H-acids in the liquid state. However, the self-diffusion coefficients obtained for SF-acids were smaller than those for the corresponding H-acids; the apparent activation energies for the self-diffusion process (translational movement) of SF-acids were larger than those for the corresponding H-acids. Namely, the motion of SF-acid molecules in a liquid phase is rather restricted compared with H-acid in spite of lower inter-acyl chain interaction of SF-acid. This unexpected result suggests that the molecular motion of SF-acid in a liquid phase is not directly governed by inter-acyl interaction, but may be interpreted as a reptation movement of an acid molecule, which is related to intramolecular movement. In fact, low intramolecular movements for SF-acid were confirmed by ¹³C-NMR T₁ measurements.

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