On the predictions and limitations of the Becker–Döring model for reaction kinetics in micellar surfactant solutions

I.M. Griffiths, C.D. Bain, C.J.W. Breward, D.M. Colegate, P.D. Howell, S.L. Waters

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22 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate the breakdown of a system of micellar aggregates in a surfactant solution following an order-one dilution. We derive a mathematical model based on the Becker-Döring system of equations, using realistic expressions for the reaction constants fit to results from Molecular Dynamics simulations. We exploit the largeness of typical aggregation numbers to derive a continuum model, substituting a large system of ordinary differential equations for a partial differential equation in two independent variables: time and aggregate size. Numerical solutions demonstrate that re-equilibration occurs in two distinct stages over well-separated timescales, in agreement with experiment and with previous theories. We conclude by exposing a limitation in the Becker-Döring theory for re-equilibration of surfactant solutions. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-671
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Volume360
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

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