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Quick question about surfactant?

  1. Apr 22, 2010 #1
    Hello everyone,


    Ok I know surfactant has a polar and non polar group and then go to the surface and break the bonds. My question is the surfactant would still arrange itself like this picture, meaning surfactant and surfactant would have strong bonds at the surface. So how does this reduce surface tension, is surfactant surfactant bond less strong than eg water water bond here? Thanks :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2010 #2


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    Simple answer: Yes.
    Better answer: Not on a molecule-by-molecule basis. But the surfactant molecule is big, so it displaces quite a few water molecules at the surface. The surfactant-surfactant bonding is weaker than the combined hydrogen bonding of all those waters it displaced.
  4. Apr 26, 2010 #3
    Thanks alxm :smile: I didn't think this topic would be answered.
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