Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2009, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (10): 2020-2025.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB20091003

• ARTICLE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Adsorption of Photosensitive Quaternary Ammonium Gemini Surfactant a4-6-m at the Air/Water Interface

SONG Bing-Lei, ZHAO Jian-Xi   

  1. Department of Applied Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350108, P. R. China
  • Received:2009-05-26 Revised:2009-07-02 Published:2009-09-29
  • Contact: ZHAO Jian-Xi


Three dissymmetric quaternary ammonium Gemini surfactants (referred to as a4-6-m) were synthesized. One of the two hydrophobic chains of a4-6-m was a butyl chain terminated by an azobenzene group and the other was a conventional aliphatic chain of different length (m=12, 14, 16). The results showed that the trans-a4-6-m molecules adsorbed at the air/water interface with a vertical orientation of the two hydrophobic chains. The π-π interaction between azobenzene groups resulted in a denser arrangement of the surfactants. The azobenzene groups toward the air-side in the adsorption layer yielded a higher γcmc (surface tension value corresponding to the critical micelle concentration (cmc)) by comparison to 12-6-12. After UV-light irradiation, the trans-azobenzene groups converted into twisted cis-forms with a large dipole moment. These cis-azobenzene groups lay among the vertically oriented aliphatic chains and their relatively free location enhanced their dipole-dipole interactions, which promoted the tight packing of adsorbed molecules and slightly reduced the minimummolecular occupation area (Amin). The increase in aliphatic chain length led to a reduction of the cmc and the C20 (concentration of surfactant required to reduce 20 mN·m-1 surface tension of water), but had little effect on the γcmc.

Key words: Surface tension, Dissymmetric photosensitive Gemini surfactant, Terminal azobenzene, Adsorption at air/water interface, trans-cis isomerization