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Materials 2013, 6(2), 580-608; doi:10.3390/ma6020580

Solubilization of Hydrophobic Dyes in Surfactant Solutions

1 Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg SE-412 96, Sweden 2 Institute for Color Science and Technology, Tehran 16765-654, Iran
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 January 2013 / Revised: 10 February 2013 / Accepted: 15 February 2013 / Published: 21 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Colorants)
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In this paper, the use of surfactants for solubilization of hydrophobic organic dyes (mainly solvent and disperse dyes) has been reviewed. The effect of parameters such as the chemical structures of the surfactant and the dye, addition of salt and of polyelectrolytes, pH, and temperature on dye solubilization has been discussed. Surfactant self-assemble into micelles in aqueous solution and below the concentration where this occurs—the critical micelle concentration (CMC)—there is no solubilization. Above the CMC, the amount of solubilized dye increases linearly with the increase in surfactant concentration. It is demonstrated that different surfactants work best for different dyes. In general, nonionic surfactants have higher solubilization power than anionic and cationic surfactants. It is likely that the reason for the good performance of nonionic surfactants is that they allow dyes to be accommodated not only in the inner, hydrocarbon part of the micelle but also in the headgroup shell. It is demonstrated that the location of a dye in a surfactant micelle can be assessed from the absorption spectrum of the dye-containing micellar solution.
Keywords: dye; water insoluble; hydrophobic; surfactant; solubilization; micelle dye; water insoluble; hydrophobic; surfactant; solubilization; micelle
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Tehrani-Bagha, A.R.; Holmberg, K. Solubilization of Hydrophobic Dyes in Surfactant Solutions. Materials 2013, 6, 580-608.

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