Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 292, Issue 12, pp 3147–3156 | Cite as

Long-chain alkyl sulfonate micelle fission: a molecular dynamics study

  • Armen H. Poghosyan
  • Levon H. Arsenyan
  • Aram A. Shahinyan
Original Contribution


In this study, we investigate micelle fission of long-chain alkyl sulfonate molecules using atomistic scale simulation. GROMACS software code with the united atom force field was applied. 0.5-μs parallel molecular dynamics simulation study was conducted for a surfactant/water system consisting of 192 sodium pentadecyl sulfonate and 40,553 water molecules. The large preassembled micelle was ruptured at Krafft above T = 323-K temperature, and we track two ellipsoid-like micelles over the course of the production run. To estimate the micelle shape, we determined the principal moments of inertia and the eccentricity, which proved that the micelles have a pronounced prolate spheroid shape, which agrees well with our previous experimental data. The mechanism of micelle fission was explored in detail. The aggregation number, ionization degree, and other parameters obtained from simulation were consistent with existing experimental finding. The determined parameters in addition to simple visual inspection of trajectories revealed monomer-micelle exchange—with the estimated relaxation time τ 1 = 10− 9s. We assume that the exchange process is conditioned by the unequal size of micelles leading to adjustment of aggregation number.


Long-chain alkyl sulfonate Molecular dynamics Micelle fission Monomer exchange 



The authors express gratitude to Dr. Hr. Astsatryan for technical assistance.

Supplementary material

396_2014_3364_Fig13_ESM.jpg (418 kb)

(JPEG 417 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Armen H. Poghosyan
    • 1
  • Levon H. Arsenyan
    • 2
  • Aram A. Shahinyan
    • 1
  1. 1.The International Scientific—Educational Center of National Academy of Sciences of ArmeniaYerevanArmenia
  2. 2.The Institute of Applied Problem of Physics of National Academy of ArmeniaYerevanArmenia

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