Journal of colloid and interface science

Characterization of mixed non-ionic surfactants n-octyl-β-D-thioglucoside and octaethylene-glycol monododecyl ether: micellization and microstructure.

PMID 21641607


Mixed micelles of n-octyl-β-D-thioglucoside (OTG) and octaethylene-glycol monododecyl ether (C(12)E(8)), two non-ionic surfactants belonging to the alkyl glucosides and polyoxyethylene alkyl ether families, respectively, were investigated by using light scattering and fluorescence probe techniques. From the determination of the critical micelle concentration (cmc), by the well-established pyrene 1:3 ratio method, it was found that the mixed system behaves ideally, the micellization process being clearly controlled by the ethoxylated surfactant. The micellar hydrodynamic radius as a function of temperature, composition and concentration was obtained by dynamic light scattering measurements. It was observed that the micellar size increases with temperature, this growth being more pronounced as the relative proportion of the ethoxylated surfactant was increased. The behavior of the micellar size with the total surfactant concentration was also found to be dependent on temperature and composition. The clouding temperature, characteristic of the ethoxylated surfactants, was increased with the addition of the sugar surfactant. Lastly, possible structural changes in the micellar palisade layer were examined by steady-state fluorescence anisotropy in conjunction with time-resolved fluorescence studies with the hydrophobic probe coumarin 6 (C6). The obtained results indicate that the participation of the ethoxylated surfactant induces a slightly more polar palisade layer, whereas the probe carries out a faster rotational reorientation as a result of a less compact environment. All these observations were attributed to the different structure of the head groups of both surfactants and, as a consequence, to their different hydration.