Modeling Adsorption of Cationic Surfactants at Air/Water Interface Without Using the Gibbs Equation
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The Gibbs adsorption equation has been indispensable in predicting the surfactant adsorption at the interfaces, with many applications in industrial and natural processes. This study uses a new theoretical framework to model surfactant adsorption at the air/water interface without the Gibbs equation. The model was applied to two surfactants, C14TAB and C16TAB, to determine the maximum surface excesses. The obtained values demonstrated a fundamental change, which was verified by simulations, in the molecular arrangement at the interface. The new insights, in combination with recent discoveries in the field, expose the limitations of applying the Gibbs adsorption equation to cationic surfactants at the air/water interface.
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