Nanostructure formation and phase separation in surfactant solutions

Sanat K. Kumar, M. Antonio Floriano, Athanassios Z. Panagiotopoulos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


We have studied the phase and micellization behavior of a series of model surfactant systems using Monte Carlo simulations on cubic lattices of coordination number z = 26. The phase behavior and thermodynamic properties were studied through the use of histogram reweighting methods, and the nanostructure formation was studied through examination of the behavior of the osmotic pressure as a function of composition and through analysis of configurations. Our results show that only phase separation occurs for the surfactants with short head groups. Nanostructure formation then occurs for long head groups, or for short heads, where these moieties repel each other strongly. The transition from phase separation to nanostructure formation is thus quasi-continuous and can be readily tuned by varying surfactant architecture and interactions. The results obtained from these simulations, which can be qualitatively understood through theories valid for block copolymers in selective solvents, provide the first benchmark studies against which analytical theories can be compared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Chemical Engineering
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)0120085283, 9780120085286
StatePublished - 2001

Publication series

NameAdvances in Chemical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0065-2377

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Chemical Engineering


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