Aggregation Properties of Amide Bearing Cleavable Gemini Surfactants by Small Angle Neutron Scattering and Conductivity Studies

Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 116(32), 9718-9726


The micellar aggregation of different amide bearing cleavable gemini surfactants with varying methylene spacer chain length (m = 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12) along with the corresponding monomeric surfactant in aqueous media has been investigated by conductometric and small angle neutron scattering (SANS) studies. The critical micellar concentration (CMC) values of gemini surfactants were found to be very low (CMC = 0.08–0.19 mM) and were 23–55 times lesser than the corresponding monomeric analogue (CMC = 4.4 mM). With increase in the spacer chain length, CMC was found to decrease whereas the degree of ionization was found to increase. SANS data have been analyzed by considering the screened Coulombic interactions between the micelles to compute the interparticle structure factor S(Q). The extent of micellar growth and the variation of shapes of the micelles formed by these new surfactants in aqueous solution have been found to depend strongly on the spacer chain length. It was observed that the extent of micellar growth and variation of micellar shapes are more pronounced for surfactants with short spacer chain length (m ≤ 4), whereas the surfactants with a long spacer chain length (m ≥ 6) showed slight variation of these properties in aqueous solution. The effects of the variation of the concentration and temperature on the SANS spectra (and hence on the microstructure) of the gemini surfactant (m = 4) were also examined. With an increase in concentration the aggregation number (N) and size of the micelles (the ratio of semimajor axis (a) to semiminor axis (b = c)) increased whereas opposite phenomena was observed with an increase in temperature.