Physical Principles of Surfactant Self-Association Into Micelles, Bilayers, Vesicles and Microemulsion Droplets

  • Jacob Israelachvili


It is now appreciated that amphiphiles (surfactants and lipids) can associate into a variety of structures in water, such as micelles, vesicles or stacks of planar bilayers, as well as microemulsion droplets in oil-water mixtures, and that changes in the solution conditions can transform these structures from one to another. In order to understand these structural aspects one requires an understanding not only of the thermodynamics of self-association, but also of the important role of molecular packing constraints within aggregates and how this is affected by solution conditions. This, and the strength of the interaction forces between aggregates in more concentrated systems, determine the equilibrium structures formed.


Critical Micelle Concentration Interfacial Tension Surfactant Concentration Hydrocarbon Chain Surfactant Molecule 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob Israelachvili
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied Mathematics, Research School of Physical SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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