Surfactants are important for a wide range of applications dealing with one-dimensional nanoscale materials, including dispersion of carbon nanotubes, as organic templates in mesoporous silica thin films, and for the fabrication of silica nanowires. There is therefore great interest in better understanding the structure and properties of surfactant aggregates at the solid-liquid interface. Here, classical molecular dynamics simulations with empirical potentials are used to compare the structures and mechanical properties of cationic surfactant micelles that are being indented with carbon nanotubes and silica nanowires at the silica-water interface. The findings are compared to the results of bulk indentation with graphite and silica surfaces, and the influence of nanometer-scale curvature on the results is described.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry