Molecular Basis for the Morphological Transitions of Surfactant Wormlike Micelles Triggered by Encapsulated Nonpolar Molecules

Gervasio Zaldivar, Martin Conda-Sheridan, Mario Tagliazucchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Surfactant wormlike micelles are prone to experience morphological changes, including the transition to spherical micelles, upon the addition of nonpolar additives. These morphological transitions have profound implications in diverse technological areas, such as the oil and personal-care industries. In this work, additive-induced morphological transitions in wormlike micelles were studied using a molecular theory that predicts the equilibrium morphology and internal molecular organization of the micelles as a function of their composition and the molecular properties of their components. The model successfully captures the transition from wormlike to spherical micelles upon the addition of a nonpolar molecule. Moreover, the predicted effects of the concentration, molecular structure, and degree of hydrophobicity of the nonpolar additive on the wormlike-to-sphere transition are shown to be in good agreement with experimental trends in the literature. The theory predicts that the location of the additive in the micelle (core or hydrophobic-hydrophilic interface) depends on the additive hydrophobicity and content, and the morphology of the micelles. Based on the results of our model, simple molecular mechanisms were proposed to explain the morphological transitions of wormlike micelles upon the addition of nonpolar molecules of different polarities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3093-3103
Number of pages11
JournalLangmuir
Volume37
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 16 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular Basis for the Morphological Transitions of Surfactant Wormlike Micelles Triggered by Encapsulated Nonpolar Molecules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this