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Thread: Why do non- ionic surfactants make bigger micelles

  1. #1 Why do non- ionic surfactants make bigger micelles 
    New Member
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    Jul 2014
    What's the reason for why non-ionic surfactants make bigger micelles than ionic surfactants? Can someone explain this simply to me, I read it's something to do with too much repulsion with ionic surfactants, but if there's that much repulsion then how do the form micelles in the first place? I'm so confused..?

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  3. #2  
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    Sep 2011
    Manchester, UK
    There will be two opposing forces in micelles formed from ionic surfactants. The charges on the ionic surfactant will tend to force the surfactant molecules apart, but the attractive interactions between the hydrophobic parts of the molecules will tend to hold them together. If the surfactant molecules are non-ionic, the disruptive effect of repulsive ionic charges would be removed and one would expect larger micelles to result.

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