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Adv Colloid Interface Sci. 2004 Aug 31;110(3):75-95.

A review on experimental studies of surfactant adsorption at the hydrophilic solid-water interface.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai-400076, India.


The progresses of understanding of the surfactant adsorption at the hydrophilic solid-liquid interface from extensive experimental studies are reviewed here. In this respect the kinetic and equilibrium studies involves anionic, cationic, non-ionic and mixed surfactants at the solid surface from the solution. Kinetics and equilibrium adsorption of surfactants at the solid-liquid interface depend on the nature of surfactants and the nature of the solid surface. Studies have been reported on adsorption kinetics at the solid-liquid interface primarily on the adsorption of non-ionic surfactant on silica and limited studies on cationic surfactant on silica and anionic surfactant on cotton and cellulose. The typical isotherm of surfactants in general, can be subdivided into four regions. Four-regime isotherm was mainly observed for adsorption of ionic surfactant on oppositely charged solid surface and adsorption of non-ionic surfactant on silica surface. Region IV of the adsorption isotherm is commonly a plateau region above the CMC, it may also show a maximum above the CMC. Isotherms of four different regions are discussed in detail. Influences of different parameters such as molecular structure, temperature, salt concentration that are very important in surfactant adsorption are reviewed here. Atomic force microscopy study of different surfactants show the self-assembly and mechanism of adsorption at the solid-liquid interface. Adsorption behaviour and mechanism of different mixed surfactant systems such as anionic-cationic, anionic-non-ionic and cationic-non-ionic are reviewed. Mixture of surface-active materials can show synergistic interactions, which can be manifested as enhanced surface activity, spreading, foaming, detergency and many other phenomena.

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