Toluene solubilization induces different modes of mixed micelle growth

Yael G. Mishael, Paul L. Dubin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The effect of toluene solubilization on the size and mobility of Triton X100 (TX100) micelles and TX100/sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) mixed micelles was studied by turbidimetry, dynamic light scattering, and capillary electrophoresis. Micelle growth due to toluene solubilization was observed for both surfactant systems; however, two different modes of growth were seen. Mixed micelles in 0.1 M NaCl are spherical (apparent diameter d app = 8 nm) and remain so while taking up 3 mM toluene, with a volume increase per micelle of ΔV m = 50 nm 3. In 0.5 M NaCl, the large d app of both nonionic and mixed micelles (14 and 24 nm, respectively) indicate ellipsoidal or rodlike shapes, and their large increases in d app upon addition of 3 mM toluene thus correspond to elongational growth, with the same ΔV m = 50 nm 3. Further addition of toluene to TX100/SDS in 0.5 M NaCl results in a dramatic increase in micelle size followed by an unexpected bimodal size distribution. The addition of excess toluene leads to the formation of ca. 140 nm toluene droplets, stabilized mainly by monomers of the high critical micelle concentration surfactant, SDS. These microemulsions coexist with the smaller (20 nm) swollen mixed micelles.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9803-9808
Number of pages6
Issue number22
StatePublished - 25 Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


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