Investigations into the Physical Properties of Gemini Surfactants
Surfactants (detergents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and wetting agents) reduce the surface tension of water. They appear in many places throughout our lives and are found in detergents, soaps and cosmetics, food and in many medications. In addition, surfactants have substantial industrial applications as well, such as for oil spill remediation. Thus, it is important to understand their physical properties of these molecules. In this study we investigate a series of dicationic trialkylammonium bromide gemini surfactants. These surfactants contain two quaternary ammonium head groups, separated by 2, 3 or 4 methylene units, and a dodecyl chain bonded to each head group. These surfactants form micelles in water once their concentrations reach the cmc or critical micelle concentration. We have determined the cmc of three surfactants using conductivity studies. Our results indicate that the cmc is dependent upon the length of the spacer as well as the concentration of added KCl.
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