Investigating the enthalpic properties of Dicationic Alkylammonium Bromide Gemini Surfactants

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Surfactants reduce the surface tension of water. They appear in many places throughout our lives: in detergents, soaps, gels, creams and cosmetics we apply; in food; and in many prescriptions. Surfactants have substantial industrial applications as well. Thus, it is important to understand the chemical and physical properties of these molecules by utilizing various instrumental methods. In this study we investigate a series of Dicationic Alkylammonium Bromide Gemini Surfactants, on the order of 12-m-12 (where m = 2, 3, or 4). These Gemini surfactants contain two quaternary ammonium head groups and a dodecyl chain bonded to each head group. The linkage denoted as ‘m’ has been varied by 2, 3, or 4 methylene units. Using Isothermal Calorimetry, the thermodynamics of micelle formation and the critical micelle concentration were determined. By conducting these experiments at various temperatures, we have been able to determine the change in heat capacity for micelle formation.

Micelle calorimetry