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Structural anomaly and dynamic heterogeneity in cycloether/water binary mixtures: Signatures from composition dependent dynamic fluorescence measurements and computer simulations
S. Indra, , R. Biswas
Published in American Institute of Physics Inc.
Volume: 144
Issue: 12
We have performed steady state UV-visible absorption and time-resolved fluorescence measurements and computer simulations to explore the cosolvent mole fraction induced changes in structural and dynamical properties of water/dioxane (Diox) and water/tetrahydrofuran (THF) binary mixtures. Diox is a quadrupolar solvent whereas THF is a dipolar one although both are cyclic molecules and represent cycloethers. The focus here is on whether these cycloethers can induce stiffening and transition of water H-bond network structure and, if they do, whether such structural modification differentiates the chemical nature (dipolar or quadrupolar) of the cosolvent molecules. Composition dependent measured fluorescence lifetimes and rotation times of a dissolved dipolar solute (Coumarin 153, C153) suggest cycloether mole-fraction (XTHF/Diox) induced structural transition for both of these aqueous binary mixtures in the 0.1 ≤ XTHF/Diox ≤ 0.2 regime with no specific dependence on the chemical nature. Interestingly, absorption measurements reveal stiffening of water H-bond structure in the presence of both the cycloethers at a nearly equal mole-fraction, XTHF/Diox ∼ 0.05. Measurements near the critical solution temperature or concentration indicate no role for the solution criticality on the anomalous structural changes. Evidences for cycloether aggregation at very dilute concentrations have been found. Simulated radial distribution functions reflect abrupt changes in respective peak heights at those mixture compositions around which fluorescence measurements revealed structural transition. Simulated water coordination numbers (for a dissolved C153) and number of H-bonds also exhibit minima around these cosolvent concentrations. In addition, several dynamic heterogeneity parameters have been simulated for both the mixtures to explore the effects of structural transition and chemical nature of cosolvent on heterogeneous dynamics of these systems. Simulated four-point dynamic susceptibility suggests formation of clusters inducing local heterogeneity in the solution structure. © 2016 AIP Publishing LLC.
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Published in American Institute of Physics Inc.
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