Monday, October 17, 2011: 10:35 AM
102 B (Minneapolis Convention Center)
We have resolved the long-standing discussion on the origin of nanoscale inhomogeneities observed in aqueous solutions of tertiary butyl alcohol. We have shown that the formation of stable particles (of about 100 nm in size) can be triggered by addition of trace amounts of propylene oxide (the impurity, expected to be present in all commercial samples of tert-butanol) to the solution, previously filtered from such inhomogeneities. We hypothesize that these particles are aggregates of mixed clathrate-hydrates, formed due to the stabilization of the intrinsic short-lived structural fluctuations in TBA solutions by the clathrate-forming ability of propylene oxide.