Matrix-assisted diffusion-ordered spectroscopy: application of surfactant solutions to the resolution of isomer spectra

Cláudio F. Tormena, Robert Evans, Stephan Haiber, Mathias Nilsson, Gareth A. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The component spectra of a mixture of isomers with nearly identical diffusion coefficients cannot normally be distinguished in a standard diffusion-ordered spectroscopy (DOSY) experiment but can often be easily resolved using matrix-assisted DOSY, in which diffusion behaviour is manipulated by the addition of a co-solute such as a surfactant. Relatively little is currently known about the conditions required for such a separation, for example, how the choice between normal and reverse micelles affects separation or how the isomer structures themselves affect the resolution. The aim of this study was to explore the application of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) normal micelles in aqueous solution and sodium 1,4-bis(2-ethylhexyl)sulfosuccinate (AOT) aggregates in chloroform, at a range of concentrations, to the diffusion resolution of some simple model sets of isomers such as monomethoxyphenols and short chain alcohols. It is shown that SDS micelles offer better resolution where these isomers differ in the position of a hydroxyl group, whereas AOT aggregates are more effective for isomers differing in the position of a methyl group. For both the normal SDS micelles and the less well-defined AOT aggregates, differences in the resolution of the isomers can in part be rationalised in terms of differing degrees of hydrophobicity, amphiphilicity and steric effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-465
Number of pages8
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Chemistry
Issue number6
Early online date1 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • NMR
  • 1H
  • DOSY
  • isomers
  • alcohols
  • dihydroxybenzenes
  • SDS
  • AOT


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