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Probing Nanoscale Thermal Transport in Surfactant Solutions



Fangyu Cao, Ying Liu, Jiajun Xu, Yadong He, Boualem Hammouda, Rui Qiao, Bao Yang


Surfactant solutions typically feature tunable nanoscale, internal structures. Although rarely utilized, they can be a powerful platform for probing thermal transport in nanoscale domains and across interfaces with nanometer-size radius. Here, we examine the structure and thermal transport in solution of AOT(Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate) in n-octane liquids using small-angle neutron scattering, thermal conductivity measurements, and molecular dynamics simulations. We report the first experimental observation of a minimum thermal conductivity occurring at the critical micelle concentration (CMC); the thermal conductivity of the surfactant solution decreases as AOT is added till the onset of micellization but increases between individual oleophobic headgroup of AOT molecules and their surrounding non-polar octane molecules can hinder heat transfer. The increase of thermal conductivity with AOT loading after the onset of micellization indicates that the thermal transport in the core of AOT micelles and across the surfactant-oil interfaces (both of which span only a few nanometers) are efficient.
Scientific Reports


Thermal Transport, SANS, thermal conductivity, surfactant additive, AOT


Cao, F. , Liu, Y. , Xu, J. , He, Y. , Hammouda, B. , Qiao, R. and Yang, B. (2015), Probing Nanoscale Thermal Transport in Surfactant Solutions, Scientific Reports, [online], (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created October 14, 2015, Updated October 12, 2021