When do particles aggregate to form micelles?

In high concentration, particles aggregate to form micelles. It happens above Tk called kraft temperature and critical micelle concentration (CMC). If the concentration is low and it forms a true solution.


In an aqueous solution, molecules with polar or charged groups and non-polar regions (amphiphilic molecules) form aggregates called micelles. In a micelle, polar or ionic heads form an outer shell in contact with water, while non-polar tails are sequestered in the interior. Hence, the core of a micelle, being formed of long non-polar tails, resembles an oil or gasoline drop.

  • Micelles are widely used in industrial and biological fields to dissolve and move non-polar substances through an aqueous medium.
  • Micelle aggregates form only when the concentration of the amphiphilic molecule reaches a given concentration called critical micelle concentration (CMC).
  • Amphiphilic molecules can form micelles not only in water but also in non-polar organic solvents.

Applications of Micelles

  • They are widely used in electrophoresis and chromatography as a media of separation.
  • Micelles act as emulsifiers when surfactants are above the critical micelle concentration.
  • They are required in the human body that plays a vital role in removing complex lipids and fat-soluble vitamins.

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