Enhanced spreading of aqueous films containing ethoxvlated alcohol surfactants on solid substrates

T. Stoebe, Zuxuan Lin, Randal M. Hill, Michael D. Ward, H. Ted Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The spreading behavior of aqueous solutions containing the ethoxylated alcohol surfactants CH3(CH2)9(OCH2CH2) 3OH and CH3(CH2)11(OCH2)n,-OH (n=3-6) on solid substrates has been investigated at different surfactant concentrations and substrate surface energies. The trends in the dynamic spreading behavior differ from those expected on the basis of the thermodynamic spreading coefficients calculated from static surface tensions. The data demonstrate that the spreading rates do not depend upon any identifiable aqueous phase surfactant microstructure. However, the spreading rate dependence upon the length of the hydrophilic poly(oxyethylene) chain suggests an interplay between surfactant adsorption on the substrate surface and the aggregation of this surfactant. The results suggest that the onset of turbidity, and an optimal surfactant hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance, are important for achieving high spreading rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7270-7275
Number of pages6
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 24 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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