Journal of colloid and interface science

On the composition fluctuations of reverse micelles.

PMID 20800237


The polydispersity of the reverse micelles is determined mainly by the fluctuations of their composition. The composition of the reverse micelle is a two-dimensional random variable whose components are the numbers of water (i) and surfactant (j) molecules. In this study the fluctuations of the composition of the reverse micelles are considered in the Gaussian approximation. It is shown that the standard deviation of the quantity w=i/j may be calculated from the dependence of the water vapor pressure above the microemulsion on the molar ratio W=[water]/[surfactant]. The estimation based on the literature data for microemulsion system sodium bis(2-ethylhexyl)sulfosuccinate/water/isooctane at 37°C in the range W=0-18 has shown that the relative standard deviation of the quantity w is about 10%. It is shown that the value of the composition fluctuations is related to the dependence of average composition on the concentration of reverse micelles at constant parameter W.