Hybrid Surfactant Systems with Inorganic Constituents



Surfactants are molecules of enormous scientific and technological importance, which are widely used as detergents, emulsifiers, and for the preparation of diverse nanostructures. Their fascinating ability to form self-organized structures, such as micelles or liquid crystals, originate from their amphiphilic architecture—a polar head group linked to a hydrophobic chain. While almost all known surfactants are organic, a new family of surfactants is now emerging, which combines amphiphilic properties with the advanced functionality of transition-metal building blocks, for example, redox or catalytic activity and magnetism. These hybrid surfactants exhibit novel self-organization features because of the unique size and electronic properties of the metal-containing entities.