Amphiphiles for soft matter and biophysics

Amphiphilic molecules are made up of two parts of opposing nature: one is a hydrophilic part referred to as the ‘head’ group and other is a hydrophobic ‘tail’ group. The non-polar tail part is usually a long hydrocarbon chain which is covalently attached to the polar head group. Depending on physicochemical properties, they form self-assembled structures of various shapes which are highly appreciated in soft matter industry. Interesting liquid crystalline phases observed at low water content in these systems will be discussed along with their possible route of phase transition. A class of biomolecules also belongs to this group. The talk will include a synchrotron x-ray scattering study of model bio-membrane and its interaction with ions. The study provides unprecedented structural insights into the interaction and promises the physicists to provide high resolution structural details of membrane-macromolecule interaction. The future research with these molecules will also be presented.