The effect of temperature, composition and alcohols on the microstructures of catanionic mixtures of sodium dodecylsulfate and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide in water
The influence of mixing protocol, composition, temperature, ageing and added alcohols on the characteristics of the microstructures of sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) + cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) mixtures has been investigated in this paper. In this catanionic mixture (1 weight% total surfactant content) temperature induced microstructural transition occurs, which is (i) a micelle-to-vesicle transition (MVT) if αSDS (mole fraction of SDS) = 0.7, 0.8 or 0.9 and (ii) a vesicle-to-micelle transition (VMT) if αSDS = 0.1, 0.2 or 0.3. In the mixture of αSDS = 0.7, specific conductivity and dynamic light scattering measurements also support the occurrence of MVT. Transition electron microscopy and small angle neutron scattering measurements were also made to assess the characteristics of the microstructures. Alcohols added to the mixture of αSDS = 0.7 reduced the size of the vesicle, while only monohydric alcohols suppressed the temperature induced transition indicating that the number and location of –OH groups of the alcohols have a dramatic modulating influence on the structural transition occurring in catanionic mixtures. The influence of the alcohols is explained in terms of changes produced in the dielectric constant and hydrophobicity of the medium.