CDs may have promising functions in surfactant systems far beyond simply being disadvantageous to the formation of micelles. In this paper we review the recent literature and our work on the interesting effect of CDs on amphiphilic systems, especially on the concentrated single surfactant systems and catanionic surfactant mixed systems, both of them have been scarcely focused upon in the literature. In concentrated single surfactant systems, the 2 : 1 surfactant–CD inclusion complexes may form hierarchical self-assemblies such as lamellae, microtubes, and vesicles which are driven by hydrogen bonding. In nonstoichiometrically mixed catanionic surfactant systems, CDs behave as a stoichiometry booster that always selectively binds to the excess component so as to shift the mixing ratio to electro-neutral in the aggregates. In this way, CDs reduce the electrorepulsion in the aggregates and trigger their growth. Upon analysis of literature work and our own results, we expect that a new era focusing on the new function of CDs on surfactant systems will come.
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