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Hybrid Surfactant Systems with Inorganic Constituents

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Abstract

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.

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