UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
What are some examples of solid surfactants that are insoluble in water?
Question Date: 2011-02-12
Answer 1:

A solid surfactant wouldn't be able to accomplish much-- surfactants work by going between molecules and forming a chemical bridge between them. While oil and water cannot easily bond to one another, a surfactant that contains a nonpolar/oily side joined to a polar group can act as a bridge between the oil molecules and water molecules,surrounding the oil and allowing it to be soluble in water. A solid chunk of surfactant doesn't have free molecules to get between molecules and form an interface, and would not function.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use