Reduced mobility of di-propylene glycol methylether in its aqueous mixtures by quasielastic neutron scattering
Journal article, 2010
The hydrogen (H-) bonding interplay between water and other organic molecules is important both in nature and in a wide range of technological applications. Structural relaxation and, thus, diffusion in aqueous mixtures are generally dependent on both the strength and the structure of the H-bonds. To investigate diffusion in H-bonding mixtures, we present a quasielastic neutron scattering study of di-propylene glycol methylether (2PGME) mixed with H2O (or D2O) over the concentration range 0-90 wt.% water. We observe a nonmonotonic behavior of the dynamics with a maximum in average relaxation time for the mixture with 30 wt.% water, which is more than a factor 2 larger compared to that of either of the pure constituents. This is a result in qualitative agreement with previous calorimetric studies and the behavior of aqueous mixtures of simple mono-alcohols. More surprisingly, we notice that the dynamics of the 2PGME molecules in the mixture is slowed down by more than a factor 3 at 30 wt.% water but that the water dynamics indicates an almost monotonous behavior. Furthermore, in the low momentum transfer (Q) range of the 2PGME, where the intermediate scattering function I(Q,t) is considerably stretched in time (i.e., the stretching parameter beta << 1), it is evident for the 2PGME-D2O samples that the Q-dependence of the inverse average relaxation time, (tau)(-1),is greater than 2. This implies that the relaxation dynamics is partly homogenously stretched, i.e., the relaxation of each relaxing unit is somewhat intrinsically stretched in time.