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This disrupts the hydrogen bonding at the surface of the water, which substantially decreases the surface tension.For this reason, amphiphilic molecules are said to be “surface active agents” and are called surfactants.They also provide foam-boosting to shampoos that contain anionic surfactants, which enhances lather, a property preferred by many consumers.Cationic surfactants such as cetrimonium chloride and stearamidopropyl dimethylamine, have a positive charge on their head group.Surfactant molecules are classified according to the ionic charge of the hydrophilic head group.These classes consist of anionic, cationic, nonionic, and zwitterionic surfactants.The ionic surfactants are available in salt form with an appropriate alkali metal or ammonium counterion.Nonionic surfactants typically possess several repeat units of ethylene oxide as the hydrophilic moiety.

This hydrogen bonding forms a tightly stretched molecular film at the interface between air and the liquid.The composition of the molecules can vary, but is typically a fatty, acid-derived, hydrophobic tail with a nitrogen-containing head group.The nitrogen-containing group can be either a tertiary or quaternary amine.Many display p H-dependent charge behavior, having one charge at lower p H’s and the opposite charge at higher p H’s.These types of surfactants, such as cocamidopropyl betaine, are valued for being mild both to skin and hair.Eventually, if the concentration of amphiphilic material is increased, the surface of the solution becomes saturated, and an intriguing phenomenon occurs.

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