Surfactants and nanoscience

Julian Eastoe, Rico F. Tabor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Surfactants are molecules with dual characteristics that give rise to adsorption at interfaces and aggregation in solvents; as such, surfactants have found a multitude of applications in nanotechnology. This chapter describes the fundamental properties that result in the rich phase and structural behavior arising from formation of adsorption layers and nanostructured domains. Of particular interest are the formation of micelles and microemulsion droplets, which have advantageous properties for a range of nanoscience applications. These phenomena are then explored in a range of contexts from nanoparticle synthesis and stabilization to oil recovery, the use of carbon dioxide as a green solvent and photo- and magneto-responsive surfactant systems. Future directions in the use of surfactants in nanotechnology are discussed in the light of recent discoveries and developments, with particular focus on the replacement of toxic surfactants and development of more sustainable alternatives.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationColloidal Foundations of Nanoscience
EditorsDebora Berti, Gerardo Palazzo
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Netherlands
PublisherElsevier - Mosby
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9780128220894
ISBN (Print)9780128220900
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Emulsions
  • Micelles
  • Nanoparticles
  • Self-assembly
  • Surfactants

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