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Nov 19, 2018

         Micelle is a colloid-sized aggregate particle that automatically aggregates molecules or ions after the concentration of the surfactant reaches or exceeds the critical micelle concentration CMC. The colloidal particles are in equilibrium with the ions. status.


         After being dissolved in water, a single surfactant molecule is completely surrounded by water molecules. The hydrophilic groups in the molecule tend to be attracted by water, while the lipophilic groups are repelled by water, so the surfactant molecules occupy the surface of the solution. Adsorption on the surface, extending its lipophilic groups to the air. After the surface adsorption reaches saturation, if the concentration of the surfactant continues to increase, the surfactant molecules inside the solution will adopt another way of repelling water, that is, the long-chain lipophilic group in the molecule passes through the intermolecular Attraction associates with each other and embraces each other, while hydrophilic groups extend into the water and combine with water molecules to form aggregates, ie micelles.


         The micelles are generally in the shape of spheres, columns, sheets, etc., and their structural problems have not yet been fully understood. It can be seen from the experimental data that when the concentration of the surfactant solution reaches a certain value, the micelles begin to form, and the greater the concentration, the more micelles are formed. The concentration of the surfactant in the solution at the beginning of the formation of the micelles is called the critical micelle concentration and is referred to as CMC. The critical micelle concentration is one of the important parameters of the surfactant. It can be determined theoretically or by surface tension method, conductance method, refractive index method and dye solubilization method.


         Before and after the critical micelle concentration, many physical properties of the surfactant concentration, such as conductivity, osmotic pressure, optical properties, detergency, surface tension, etc., change significantly, so the CMC value must be exceeded when using the surfactant. In order to fully exert the performance of the surfactant. Most surfactants have CMC values ranging from 0.001 to 0.02 mol/L.


         In the solution of the ionic surfactant, a single surfactant ion and the micelle can form an equilibrium, the balance is affected by the concentration of the surfactant, when the concentration is small, the solution is mainly a single surfactant ion; At higher concentrations or close to CMC, there will be a small amount of micelles in the solution, such as dimers or trimers; when the concentration is 10 times CMC or greater, the micelles are generally not spherical.

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