Investigating oil solubilization into nonionic micelles by Raman multivariate curve resolution: Special Collection: Aggregation-Induced Processes and Functions

Ciera M. Wentworth, Ryan L. Myers, Paul S. Cremer, Lauren D. Zarzar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Hydrophobic hydration, whereby water spontaneously structures around hydrophobic and amphiphilic molecules, plays a key role in the process of surfactant micelle formation and micellar oil solubilization. Using vibrational Raman multivariate curve resolution spectroscopy, we characterized changes in the hydrophobic hydration occurring within nonionic alkylphenol ethoxylate surfactant Tergitol NP-12 micelles as a function of oil solubilization. We report trends in the changes of hydrophobic hydration depending on the chain length of the oil as well as the presence of a halogen atom in the oil chemical structure. Changes in hydrophobic hydration directly correlate to changes in the physical properties of the micellar solution, including cloud point and micelle hydrodynamic diameter. We compare hydrophobic hydration of Tergitol NP-12 to nonionic linear alkyl ethoxylate surfactant Makon TD-12 and ionic sodium dodecyl sulfate and observe similar trends; the molecular structure of the oil has the largest impact on the hydrophobic hydration. We believe these studies contribute to a fundamental understanding of the importance of hydrophobic hydration in surfactant and oil aggregates, especially as it relates to micellar oil solubilization, and provide insight into how the molecular solubilizate can impact micellar structure, size, and stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere385
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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