Dynamic surface tension of aqueous solutions of ionic surfactants: Role of electrostatics

Hernán Ritacco, Dominique Langevin*, Haim Diamant, David Andelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The adsorption kinetics of the cationic surfactant dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide at the air-water interface has been studied by the maximum bubble pressure method at concentrations below the critical micellar concentration. At short times, the adsorption is diffusion-limited. At longer times, the surface tension shows an intermediate plateau and can no longer be accounted for by a diffusion-limited process. Instead, adsorption appears kinetically controlled and slowed down by an adsorption barrier. A Poisson-Boltzmann theory for the electrostatic repulsion from the surface does not fully account for the observed potential barrier. The possibility of a surface phase transition is expected from the fitted isotherms but has not been observed by Brewster angle microscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1014
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2011


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