The zeta-potentials of the self-assembled surface ionic surfactants (sodium dodecyl sulfate—SDS and hexadecyltrimethyl ammonium bromide—CTAB) on graphite surfaces were determined both from streaming potential and electrophoretic mobility measurements. The adsorption of the surfactants at graphite–liquid interfaces has been studied using atomic force microscopy (AFM) soft-contact imaging which shows the formation of linear, parallel hemicylinders with headgroups oriented towards the solution. The magnitude of the zeta-potential increased with an increase in surfactant concentration, reaching a constant value at a concentration corresponding to the point of surface micelle formation as confirmed from AFM imaging. The streaming potential and electrophoretic mobility measurements showed that the zeta-potentials of SDS and CTAB surface micelles adsorbed at the graphite surface were about −75 and +70 mV, respectively, well in agreement with the values reported for bulk phase micelles in the literature.
Colloids and Surfaces Vol. 250, Issue 1-3, p. 519-526