A micelle is formed due to the clustering of soap molecules wherein the interior of the cluster is formed by the hydrophobic end and the ionic ends are on the surface of the cluster.

So, if a non-polar solvent is used (Assuming non-polar solvents dissolve non-polar solvents), can the reverse of micelle be formed? That is, wherein the ionic end forms the interior and the hydrocarbon end the exterior?

  • 2
    yes, a micelle can go either way. – MaxW Nov 8 at 16:14

Yes, they are aptly enough called inverse micelles, eg such as formed by the detergent AOT. However, if you retain the hydrophobic/philic balance of a typical water-soluble detergent wherein you have a long hydrophobic tail, then you generally have to alter the headgroup area (making it bigger) to favor interted phases of this type. In addition if charged the headgroups will strongly repel, requiring a cosolvent or some counterions to reduce such
interactions.

Your Answer

 
discard

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.