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.