- The phase behavior and phase structure for the catanionic pair sodium taurodeoxycholate - didodecyl-dimethylammonium bromide (DDAB) are investigated, at 25 degreesC. A combination of techniques is used including light and electron microscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, and pulsed field gradient NMR self-diffusion. The bile salt micellar solution incorporates large amounts of the double-chained amphiphile, with the solution region extending to equimolarity. On the contrary, the hexagonal liquid-crystalline phase is destabilized by the addition of small amounts of DDAB. At equimolarity, coacervation instead of precipitation is observed, with formation of a viscous isotropic solution and a very dilute one. In the water-rich part of the phase diagram, a peculiar type of phase separation occurs, involving the formation of very fine bluish dispersions and a region of coexistence of two dispersions (double dispersion region). Microscopy and self-diffusion data for the solution region indicate limited growth of the mixed micelles. Large domains in which the micellar structure appears to be maintained are imaged in the bluish dispersions by electron microscopy. No other type of aggregate such as vesicles or precipitates is observed in the dilute bile salt-rich area of this mixture.