Adsorption of ethoxylated nonionic surfactants from siloxane-based solvent and aqueous systems: Use of QCM and model polymeric surfaces

Abhay R. Ladhe, D. Bhattacharyya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Adsorption behavior was quantified with pure ethoxylated nonionic surfactants onto different polymeric surfaces (hydrophilic cotton and hydrophobic polyester) and model hydrophilic gold surface. The polymer materials used for the study were characterized using SEM. The role of ethylene oxide group variation in surfactantpolymer interaction was established using pure surfactant with the same alkyl chain length but varying ethoxylate chain lengths. It was observed that surfactant with more ethylene oxide groups per molecule, being more hydrophilic, interacts favorably with cotton in the hydrophobic siloxane solvent environment. The adsorption of the pure surfactants on model gold surface from hydrophobic solvent and water was also established using the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) system. Effect of ethylene oxide chain length and surfactant concentration on the extent of adsorption was quantified. At the gold-water interface, the plateau adsorption for C12 E3 (15.9 × 10-6 mole/m2) is about four times higher than for C12E8. An opposite trend was observed for adsorption of the surfactants on gold in the hydrophobic D5 environment. Information about thickness, adsorption and desorption kinetics, and structure of adsorbed layer was obtained from the QCM-D frequency-dissipation data. The study is an important contribution towards fundamental understanding of applications involving the use of ethoxylated nonionic surfactants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)872-889
Number of pages18
JournalChemical Engineering Communications
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The QCM work was supported by the NSF-EPSCoR program and Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CeNSE). RCTF provided financial support for A. Ladhe. The authors thank John May from ERTL (Environmental Research Training Lab) for the technical support in GC analysis.


  • Adsorption
  • D5
  • Ethoxylated nonionic surfactants
  • QCM
  • Siloxane solvent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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