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Adsorption of anionic surfactants on positively charged polystyrene particles II

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In the case of cationic polystyrene latex, the adsorption of anionic surfactants involves a strong electrostatic interaction between both the particle and the surfactant, which may affect the conformation of the surfactant molecules adsorbed onto the latex-particle surface. The adsorption isotherms showed that adsorption takes place according to two different mechanisms. First, the initial adsorption of the anionic surfactant molecules on cationic polystyrene surface would be due to the attractive electrostatic interaction between both ionic groups, laying the alkyl-chains of surfactant molecules flat on the surface as a consequence of the hydrophobic interaction between these chains and the polystyrene particle surface, which is predominantly hydrophobic. Second, at higher surface coverage the adsorbed surfactant molecules may move into a partly vertical orientation with some head groups facing the solution. According to this second mechanism the hydrophobic interactions of hydrocarbon chains play an important role in the adsorption of surfactant molecules at high surface coverage. This would account for the very high negative mobilities obtained at surfactant concentration higher than 5×10−7 M. Under high surface-coverage conditions, some electrophoretic mobility measurements were performed at different ionic strength. The appearance of a maximum in the mobility-ionic strength curves seems to depend upon alkyl-chain length. Also the effects of temperature and pH on mobilities of anionic surfactant-cationic latex particles have been studied. The mobility of the particles covered by alkyl-sulphonate surfactants varied with the pH in a similar manner as it does with negatively charged sulphated latex particles, which indicates that the surfactant now controls the surface charge and the hydrophobic-hydrophilic character of the surface.

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Dedicated to the memory of Dr. Safwan Al-Khouri Ibrahim

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González, F.G., Vilchez, M.A.C. & Hidalgo-Alvarez, R. Adsorption of anionic surfactants on positively charged polystyrene particles II. Colloid Polym Sci 269, 406–411 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00654587

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Key words

  • Anionicsurfactants
  • cationiclatex