Determination of critical micelle concentration with the rotating sample system

Kao, Linus; Shetty, Gautam; Gratzl, Miklós
December 2008
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Dec2008, Vol. 392 Issue 7/8, p1391
Academic Journal
A novel experimental approach using the rotating sample system (RSS) is proposed here for the determination of the critical micelle concentration (CMC) of surfactants. The RSS has been conceived in our laboratory as a convection platform for physicochemical studies and analyses in microliter-sized sample drops. The scheme allows for vigorous rotation of the drop despite its small size through efficient air–liquid mechanical coupling. Thus, changes in surface properties of aqueous samples result in corresponding modulation of the hydrodynamic performance of the RSS, which can be utilized to investigate interfacial phenomena. In this work, we demonstrate that the RSS can be used to study the effects of surfactants on the surface and in the bulk of very small samples with hydrodynamic electrochemistry. Potassium ferrocyanide is employed here with cyclic voltammetry to probe the air–water interface of solutions containing Triton X-100. The CMC of this surfactant determined using this approach is 140 ppm, which agrees well with reported values obtained with conventional methods in much larger samples. The results also demonstrate that besides the CMC, variations in bulk rheological properties can also be investigated in very small specimens using the RSS with a simple method.


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