Projects per year
A series of eight sodium sulfonic acid surfactants with differently branched tails (four double-chain sulfosuccinates and four triple-chain sulfocarballylates) were studied as charging agents for sterically stabilized poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) latexes in dodecane. Tail branching was found to have no significant effect on the electrophoretic mobility of the latexes, but the number of tails was found to influence the electrophoretic mobility. Triple-chain, sulfocarballylate surfactants were found to be more effective. Several possible origins of this observation were explored by comparing sodium dioctylsulfosuccinate (AOT1) and sodium trioctylsulfocarballylate (TC1) using identical approaches: the inverse micelle size, the propensity for ion dissociation, the electrical conductivity, the electrokinetic or ζ potential, and contrast-variation small-angle neutron scattering. The most likely origin of the increased ability of TC1 to charge PMMA latexes is a larger number of inverse micelles. These experiments demonstrate a small molecular variation that can be made to influence the ability of surfactants to charge particles in nonpolar solvents, and modifying molecular structure is a promising approach to developing more effective charging agents.