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A Telescoping view of solute architectures in a complex fluid system

Motokawa, Ryuhei  ; Kobayashi, Toru ; Endo, Hitoshi; Mu, J.*; Williams, C. D.*; Masters, A. J.*; Antonio, M. R.*; Heller, W. T.*; Nagao, Michihiro*

We present a hierarchical aggregate model of an organic phase containing a coordination species that acts as a fundamental building unit of higher-order structures formed in the organic phase. We aimed to elucidate the fundamental aspects of the microscopic structure and phase separation occurring in ionic separation and recovery systems during solvent extraction. The coordination species aggregate through a hydrogen-bonding network formed by interaction between the hydrophilic part of the coordination species with extracted water and acid molecules. This reduces the hydrophilic surface area, resulting in subsequent formation of small primal clusters of 2 to 3 nm in diameter. The primal clusters further aggregate due to van der Waals interaction to form large aggregates of $$<$$ 10 nm in diameter. The size of the primal cluster does not depend on the concentration of the coordination species, whereas the size of the large aggregate increases as the aggregation number of the primal clusters increases. We conclude that hybrid interaction is a key driving force in the formation and growth of the hierarchical aggregate and the induction of phase separation of the organic phase.



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Category:Chemistry, Multidisciplinary



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