Organised Structure in Soap Solutions

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MY simple picture, fully described elsewhere1–3, of the aggregates in the clear mobile solutions of paraffin-chain salts is that they are essentially liquid in nature and spherical in form. The discovery4, by X-ray diffraction, of a characteristic long spacing, decreasing with increase of concentration, appeared to favour a different picture—that of a lamellar micelle in which the chains lay parallel to one another and the outer faces of arrayed ionic groups were separated by a definite thickness of water. One of the protagonists of the lamellar micelle has recently5 come to modify his picture considerably, and his collaborator6 to consider that the X-ray data can be explained by the spherical micelle.

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  1. 1

    Hartley, "Aqueous Solutions of Paraffin Chain Salts" (Paris, 1936)

  2. 2

    Hartley, Koll. Z., 88, 22 (1939).

  3. 3

    Hartley and Runnicles, Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 168, 419 (1938).

  4. 4

    Hess and Gundermann, Ber., 70, 1800 (1937).

  5. 5

    Mattoon, Stearns and Harkins, J. Chem. Phys., 15, 209 (1947).

  6. 6

    Corrin, J. Chem. Phys., 844 (Aug. 1948).

  7. 7

    Trans. Farad. Soc., 42, 197 (1946).

  8. 8

    Harkins Mattoon and Corrin, J. Coll. Sci., 1, 105 (1946).

  9. 9

    J. Coll. Sci., 3, 383 (1948).

  10. 10

    Stauff, Koll. Z., 89, 224 (1939).

  11. 11

    Hartley, "Wetting and Detergents", 153 (Harvey, London, 1937).

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HARTLEY, G. Organised Structure in Soap Solutions. Nature 163, 767–768 (1949) doi:10.1038/163767a0

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