Effect of Polyoxyethylene Chain Length and Electrolyte on the Viscosity of Mixed Micelles


Abstract: The viscosity measurements of micelles composed of mixtures of anionic/nonionic surfactants were carried out as a function of the mole fraction of surfactants. The systems studied were sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-polyoxyethylene lauryl ether (C_{12}POE_{n} n = 4, 10 and 23) in water and 0.1 M sodium chloride solution. In the single systems, the relative viscosity of nonionic surfactant is greater than that of SDS, and increases with the increasing level of ethylene oxide. In the mixed surfactant systems, the relative viscosities vary at the mixed molar fraction of SDS, between 0.2 and 0.3, and then the relative viscosities of mixed systems decrease with the increasing mole fraction of SDS. The experimental values show a positive deviation from ideal behavior because of mixed micelle formation and the electroviscous effect. This effect could be suppressed by the addition of an electrolyte (NaCl).

Keywords: Relative viscosity, anionic/nonionic surfactant, mixed micelles

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