The mounting evidence for the existence of surfactant aggregates at solid/solution interfaces prompts a re-examination of common experimental techniques for studying surfactant adsorption. The simple models of a surfactant monolayer or bilayer, while reasonable in the face of older experimental data, are now seen to be inadequate to describe the rich range of order seen by atomic force microscopy and other techniques. In this manuscript we review the results of atomic force microscopy which demonstrate the existence of surface micelles, look again at the experimental results which pointed towards surface aggregates, and also look ahead at how the existence of surface micelles requires us to revise the interpretation of other experimental studies and our entire picture of adsorbed films.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)