The Journal of chemical physics

Molecular interactions at the hexadecane/water interface in the presence of surfactants studied with second harmonic generation.

PMID 26071724


It is important to investigate the influence of surfactants on structures and physical/chemical properties of oil/water interfaces. This work reports a second harmonic generation study of the adsorption of malachite green (MG) on the surfaces of oil droplets in a hexadecane/water emulsion in the presence of surfactants including sodium dodecyl sulfate, polyoxyethylene-sorbitan monooleate (Tween80), and cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide. It is revealed that surfactants with micromolar concentrations notably influence the adsorption of MG at the oil/water interface. Both competition adsorption and charge-charge interactions played very important roles in affecting the adsorption free energy and the surface density of MG at the oil/water interface. The sensitive detection of the changing oil/water interface with the adsorption of surfactants at such low concentrations provides more information for understanding the behavior of these surfactants at the oil/water interface.