Variations in the aggregation number of spherical micelles are considered within the micellization theory based on the law of mass action. The mechanism of micellization in a polydisperse aggregated system and the transition to a monodisperse model are explained. A relation between aggregation numbers and chemical potentials of molecules or ions is determined using the curve for equilibrium distribution of aggregates over the aggregation numbers. It is shown that the aggregation numbers of nonionic surfactants unambiguously grow with concentration; however, such a conclusion cannot be drawn for ionic surfactants. For the explicit concentration dependence of the aggregation number, two versions of an analog of the Langmuir equation are proposed to be used, i.e., versions comprising the total surfactant concentration and the concentration of monomers. Comparison with experimental data is carried out by the example of conventional surfactants, namely, sodium dodecyl sulfate and hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide.
Scopus subject areas
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry