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Maximum Bubble Pressure Method:  Universal Surface Age and Transport Mechanisms in Surfactant Solutions

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journal contribution
posted on 29.08.2006, 00:00 by Nikolay C. Christov, Krassimir D. Danov, Peter A. Kralchevsky, Kavssery P. Ananthapadmanabhan, Alex Lips
Here, based on the theoretical analysis of results for two ionic surfactants, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and dodecyl trimethylammonium bromide (DTAB), we develop a new approach for quantitative interpretation of data from the maximum bubble pressure method. A given tensiometer is characterized by an apparatus function, A(t), and by an apparatus constant. The former represents the time dependence of the bubble surface area, whereas the latter is expressed through integrals of A(t). The experiment indicates that both of them are independent of the surfactant type and concentration. Moreover, if a certain criterion is satisfied, the experimental results depend on the surface dilatation only through the apparatus constant. This makes the data interpretation much easier. The knowledge of the apparatus constant gives a general time scale (universal surface age) that makes the results independent of the specific bubble-pressure setup and produces dynamic surface tension curves that are universal characteristics of the investigated solutions. A new equation for data processing is proposed, which provides excellent fits of the dynamic surface tension. In the case of micellar solutions, the data analysis enables one to identify the kinetic regime of adsorption (among four possible regimes). For the investigated surfactant solutions, the diffusion regime “BC” was identified, for which the fast micellar process is equilibrated, whereas the slow micellar process is negligible. Upgraded with the developed approach for quantitative data interpretation, the bubble-pressure tensiometry could be a useful tool for a detailed analysis of the adsorption processes in more complex systems.