Surfactants, Micelles and Fascinating Phenomena

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Surfactants, Micelles and Fascinating Phenomena

Authors: Heinz Hoffmann and Gerlinde Ebert

Journal: Angew. Chem.Int. Ed. Engl. 27 (1988) 902-912


Introduction

The focus of this paper is to describe some of the unusual processes and phenomena of surfactants. The paper focusses on the ability of surfactant molecules to form large aggregates of different shapes and, thermodynamically, they can be treated as single molecules that exert forces on each other. In this way, micelles can be considered as a van-der-Waals gas capable of condensation of conversion into a crystalline state.

This paper describes a series of simple experiments which are all designed to illustrate the control mechanisms of surfactants.


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