Center for Supramolecular Studies

Dr. Barney Bales

Barney BalesProfessor Emeritus, Department of Physics & Astronomy


Cabane (J Physique, 45, 2161, 1985) observed that "the structure of micelles appears to be a matter of chronic concern" and proceeded to cite literature dating back to Hartley's classic text written in 1936. That was 19 years ago! Despite intense activity ever since, the structure of the simplest micelle still can provoke an intense debate between otherwise gentle men and women. Thus, it is an interesting concern to pursue. I am a relative newcomer to the activity, having spent most of my career as an electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopist. Much needs to be done, but I am convinced that electron paramagnetic resonance can become a major tool in the study of micelles and other self-aggregating assemblies.

My students and colleagues here at the Center employ time-resolved fluorescence quenching, electron paramagnetic resonance, surface tension, and density to study micelles. We attempt to understand the structure and dynamics of micelles using these data together with those collected by my colleagues elsewhere who use NMR and small-angle neutron scattering.