We report herein, the aggregation behavior of 3, 4-di(dodecyloxy)benzoic acid-4-hydroxy phenyl ester (DDBE), a synthetic amphiphile and a true non-ionic surfactant system as per the geometrical considerations. The true surfactant nature of the system stems from its hydrophilic-lipophilic-balance (HLB = 4.7), comparable to that of Span-60, also a true non-ionic surfactant. This compound undergoes spontaneous vesicle formation in THF:water binary solvent mixtures which further underwent fission at lower DDBE concentrations and fusion at higher concentrations, leading to giant vesicles of the order of 3000 nm. These vesicles are sensitive to the polarity of their environment. The predominant mode of interaction as observed from the molecular dynamics simulations were found to be π-π stacking with the phenyl rings of the molecule. Further, the system, upon complete extraction into water, formed spherical aggregates of size 50 nm based on the good solvent-poor solvent combination as the necessary condition for the vesicle formation.
Supporting Information: Visual snaps, Solvent polarity towards aggregation plots, geometry opti-mized structure of DDBE, MD Calculations, Dynamic light scattering plot. This material is available online free of charge via Figshare.