Worming their way into shape: Toroidal formations in micellar solutions

Joshua J. Cardiel, Lige Tonggu, Alice C. Dohnalkova, Pablo De La Iglesia, Danilo C. Pozzo, Liguo Wang, Amy Q. Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We report the formation of nanostructured toroidal micellar bundles (nTMB) from a semidilute wormlike micellar solution, evidenced by both cryogenic-electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy images. Our strategy for creating nTMB involves a two-step protocol consisting of a simple prestraining process followed by flow through a microfluidic device containing an array of microposts, producing strain rates in the wormlike micelles on the order of 105 s-1. In combination with microfluidic confinement, these unusually large strain rates allow for the formation of stable nTMB. Electron microscopy images reveal a variety of nTMB morphologies and provide the size distribution of the nTMB. Small-angle neutron scattering indicates the underlying microstructural transition from wormlike micelles to nTMB. We also show that other flow-induced approaches such as sonication can induce and control the emergence of onion-like and nTMB structures, which may provide a useful tool for nanotemplating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9704-9713
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 26 2013


  • flow-induced structures
  • microfluidics
  • sonication
  • toroidal nanostructures
  • wormlike micelles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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