Theory of Spontaneous Vesicle Formation in Surfactant Mixtures

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Science  20 Apr 1990:
Vol. 248, Issue 4953, pp. 354-356
DOI: 10.1126/science.248.4953.354


The curvature elastic energy of bilayer vesicles formed by a mixture of two surfactants, which individually form either micelles or lamellar bilayer phases is described theoretically. In the limit of large bending elastic modulus K being much greater than the temperature T, the free energy is minimized by vesicles with different concentrations of the two surfactants in each monolayer of the bilayer. Vesicles are more stable than lameliar structures only when interactions or complexing of the two surfactants is taken into account.

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