Shear-Induced Transitions and Instabilities in Surfactant Wormlike Micelles

  • Sandra Lerouge
  • Jean-François BerretEmail author
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 230)


In this review, we report recent developments on the shear-induced transitions and instabilities found in surfactant wormlike micelles. The survey focuses on the nonlinear shear rheology and covers a broad range of surfactant concentrations, from the dilute to the liquid-crystalline states and including the semidilute and concentrated regimes. Based on a systematic analysis of many surfactant systems, the present approach aims to identify the essential features of the transitions. It is suggested that these features define classes of behaviors. The review describes three types of transitions and/or instabilities: the shear-thickening found in the dilute regime, the shear-banding which is linked in some systems to the isotropic-to-nematic transition, and the flow-aligning and tumbling instabilities characteristic of nematic structures. In these three classes of behaviors, the shear-induced transitions are the result of a coupling between the internal structure of the fluid and the flow, resulting in a new mesoscopic organization under shear. This survey finally highlights the potential use of wormlike micelles as model systems for complex fluids and for applications.

Instabilities under shear Lyotropic mesophases Shear-banding Shear-thickening Surfactant Viscoelasticity Wormlike micelles 

Abbreviations and Notations


Aluminum nitrate


Aluminum chloride


Cetylpyridinium salicylate


Cetylpyridinium chloride


Cetylpyridinium chlorate


Perfluorooctyl butane trimethylammonium bromide


Penta(ethylene glycol) monododecyl ether


Dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide


Tetradecyltrimethylammonium bromide


Tetradecyldimethylamine oxide


Hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide


Hexadecyltrimethylammonium chloride


Octadecyltrimethylammonium bromide


Hexadecyloctyldimethylammonium bromide


Alkyltrimethylammonium bromide


Cetyltrimethylammonium 3-hydroxy-2-naphthalenecarboxylate


Hexadecyltrimethylammonium p-toluenesulfonate


Cetyltrimethylammonium benzoate




Diffusive Johnson-Segalman


Dynamic light scattering


Drag reduction


Erucyl bis(hydroxyethyl)methylammoniumchloride


Flow birefringence


Faraday instability

Gemini 12-2-12

Ethane diyl-1,2-bis-(dodecyl dimethylammonium bromide)




Hydroxypropyl cellulose




Potassium bromide


Laurylamidopropyl betaine


Light scattering imaging


Liquid crystalline polymer


Sodium chloride


Sodium chlorobenzoate


Sodium chlorate


Sodium nitrate


Sodium salicylate


Sodium p-toluenesulfonate or sodium tosylate


Ammonium chloride


Nuclear magnetic resonance




Poly(ethylene oxide)


Particle image velocimetry


Particle tracking velocimetry


Small-angle neutron scattering


Small-angle light scattering


Small-angle X-ray scattering


Sodium dodecyl benzyl sulfonate


Sodium dodecyl trioxyethylene sulfate


Sodium decylsulfate


Sodium dodecyl sulfate


Shear-induced phase


Shear-induced structure


Tris(2-hydroxyethyl)-tallowalkyl ammonium acetate


Ultrasonic velocimetry



The present review would not have been possible without the extended network of colleagues and friends being, as we are, fascinated by this subject. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the collaborations and the fruitful discussions we had over the years with Jacqueline Appell, Wesley Burghardt, Olivier Cardoso, Jean-Louis Counord, Jean-Paul Decruppe, Marc-Antoine Fardin, Olivier Greffier, Guillaume Grégoire, Heinz Hoffmann, Sébastien Manneville, François Molino, Julian Oberdisse, Peter Olmsted, Grégoire Porte, Ovidiu Radulescu, Jean-Baptiste Salmon, Claudia Schmidt, Jean-François Tassin, and Lynn Walker. The Laboratoire Léon Brillouin (CEA, Saclay, France), the Institute Laue-Langevin, and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facilities (Grenoble, France) are also acknowledged for their technical and financial supports. We have also benefited from research organizations and fundings, such as the GDR 1081 “Rhéophysique des Colloides et Suspensions”, European TMR-Network “Rheology of Liquid Crystals” contract number FMRX-CT96-0003 (DG 12 - ORGS), Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR JCJC-0020). We are finally very grateful to Sébastien Manneville for his comments on the first version of the manuscript.


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© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (MSC)UMR 7057 CNRS-Université Paris-DiderotParis Cedex 13France

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