Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-14-2014

Major Department or Program



Allison Calhoun


We used Xenon-129 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to study the forces present in various surfactant systems. Using the drop weight method, we additionally measured surface tension for these solutions to determine the concentration at which micelles form, known as the critical micelle concentration (CMC). This study aims to catalogue how varying conditions affect the properties of micellar solutions. In this research, we separately added salts, alkanes, hydrotropes, and oppositely charged surfactants to ionic surfactants. These additives tended to affect both the CMC and the micelle structure. Salt additions obeyed the salting out effect, alkane additions did not affect micelle properties, and hydrotrope additions decreased surface tension though their effect on the micelles is still unclear. The addition of positively charged surfactants to negatively charged ones increases surface tension. This information will eventually be used to predict hydrophobic drug solubility in micellar solutions for improved drug delivery targeting.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Critical micelle concentration, Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy -- Experiments, Xenon -- Isotopes, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2014 -- Chemistry Department

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Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

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Chemistry Commons



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