Molecular dynamics simulations are utilized to simulate a model liquid-vapor-amphiphile system. Amphiphilic surfactant molecules are modeled as dimers composed of a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail. Three dimer models with three different head sizes and two different head-to-tail size ratios are studied. The surfactant molecules distribute preferentially at the interfaces at low concentrations and form micelles in the bulk liquid phase as the concentration increases. We find that the surface tension decreases as molecular concentration increases, with a reduction in the rate of decrease after micellization occurs. The extent to which a surfactant can reduce the surface tension at a given concentration is found to depend on the head size. Furthermore, the head size and concentration dependence of the surfactant tilt-angle distribution is studied and compared to experimental data.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry