Adsorption of Ions at Uncharged Insoluble Monolayers.

21 May 2018

A method is proposed for the experimental determination of the adsorption of inorganic electrolytes at a surface covered with insoluble surfactant monolayer. This task is complicated by the fact that the change of the salt concentration alters both chemical potentials of the electrolyte and the surfactant. Our method resolves the question by combining data for the surface pressure versus area of the monolayer at several salt concentrations with data for the equilibrium spreading pressure of crystals of the surfactant (used to fix a standard state). We applied the method to alcohols spread at the surface of concentrated halide solutions. The measured salt adsorption is positive and has nonmonotonic dependence on the area per surfactant molecule. For the liquid expanded film, depending on the concentration, there is one couple of ions adsorbed per each 3-30 surfactant molecules. We analyzed which ion, the positive or the negative, stands closer to the surface, by measuring the effect of NaCl on the Volta potential of the monolayer. The potentiometric data suggest that Na(+) is specifically adsorbed, while Cl(-) remains in the diffuse layer, i.e., the surface is positively charged. The observed reverse Hofmeister series of the adsorptions of NaF, NaCl, and NaBr suggests the same conclusion holds for all these salts. The force that causes the adsorption of Na(+) seems to be the interaction of the ion with the dipole moment of the monolayer.