THE ROLE OF HYDROPHOBIC INTERACTIONS FOR THE FORMATION OF GAS HYDRATES Yoon, Roe-Hoan; Sum, Amadeu K.; Wang, Jialin; Eriksson, Jan C
It is well known that water molecules at room temperature tend to form ‘iceberg’ structures around the hydrocarbon chains of surfactant molecules dissolved in water. The entropy reduction (times the absolute temperature T) associated with the iceberg structure can be considered as the net driving force for self-assembly. More recently, many investigators measured long-range attractive forces between hydrophobic surfaces, which are likely to result from structuring of the water molecules in the vicinity of the hydrophobic surfaces. Similarly, the hydrophobic nature of most gas hydrate formers may induce ordering of water molecules in the vicinity of dissolved solutes. In the present work, the surface forces between thiolated gold surfaces have been measured using an atomic force microscope (AFM) to obtain information on the structure of the thin films of water between hydrophobic surfaces. The results have been used to develop a new concept for the formation of gas hydrates.
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