Electric birefringence and elastic and quasi-elastic light scattering investigation of the critical behavior of Triton X-100 in aqueous solution

Conference paper
Part of the Progress in Colloid & Polymer Science book series (PROGCOLLOID, volume 73)


“New Trends in Colliod Science” contains the proceedings of the foundation meeting of the European Colloid and Interface Society (ECIS), October 1–3, 1986. Representatives from the major European groups working in this field contributed to the conference. The volume contains an up-to-date account of present developments in Colloid Science. The contributions cover a wide scope of subjects, and provide encouragement that structures and transport processes in dense colloidal systems can be understood on basic principles. The main subjects are include:
  • phase diagrams of new surfactant systems

  • microemulsions and their applications

  • vesicles and bilayers

  • transport properties of colloidal systems.


Aqueous solutions of Triton X-100 have been investigated by means of elastic and quasi-elastic light scattering, viscosity, and electric birefringence in the temperature range between room temperature and critical temperature T c . The intensity of scattered light and the correlation length ξ have been found to follow power laws of (TcT)/Tc with exponents equal to those predicted by the renormalisation group theory. Nevertheless some deviations from the Kawasaki-Ferrell universal plot are noted when the correlation range increases much, close to T c . The decay and the rise of the electric birefringence show the presence of two relaxation processes. The fast relaxation process has been attributed to the individual micelles and its analysis has yielded information on the shape and dimension of the Triton X-100 micelles. The slow process which becomes predominant close to T c appears to be due to the micelles clusters, present at these temperature. It yields values of the correlation range in good agreement with those obtained from light scattering. The results show that the micelles are anisodiametric and that fluctuations of micelle concentration are anisotropic.

Key words

Electric birefringence light scattering critical phenomena non-ionic surfactant 


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Copyright information

© Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag GmbH & Co. KG 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Spectrométrie et d'Imagerie Ultrasonores, Unité associée au C.N.R.S. no 851Université Louis PasteurStrasbourg CédexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire des Sciences de l'Image et de la TélédétectionEcole Nationale Supérieure de Physique de StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance
  3. 3.Institut Charles Sadron (C.R.M.)C.N.R.S.StrasbourgFrance

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