Adsorption and aggregation properties of amino acid-based N-alkyl cysteine monomeric and N, N-dialkyl cystine gemini surfactants

Tomokazu Yoshimura, Ayako Sakato, Koji Tsuchiya, Takahiro Ohkubo, Hideki Sakai, Masahiko Abe, Kunio Esumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


An amino acid-based gemini surfactant derived from cystine (2CnCys, where n represents the hydrocarbon chain lengths of 8, 10, and 12) was synthesized by reacting cystine with n-alkyl bromide, and its adsorption and aggregation properties were characterized by measurements of equilibrium and dynamic surface tension and dynamic light scattering. The properties of 2CnCys were compared with those of an amino acid-based monomeric surfactant derived from cysteine (CnCys). For n = 8 and 10, when compared to CnCys, 2CnCys exhibited excellent surface activities, such as a lower critical micelle concentration (cmc), greater efficiency in lowering the surface tension of water, and smaller area occupied per molecule. Adsorption rate at air/water interface decreased with an increase in hydrocarbon chain length, chain number, and concentration of respective compounds. Further, the kinetics were discussed using the monomer diffusion coefficient obtained from short and long time scales in dynamic surface tension plots. In addition, the aggregation properties of 2CnCys for n = 8 and 10 differed from those in the case of n = 12. In other words, relatively larger micelles with diameters of approximately 7 nm were formed by 2CnCys for n = 8 and 10 in comparison to those formed by CnCys (2-3 nm). On the other hand, for a 0.832 mmol dm-3 2C12Cys solution, the aggregation structure investigated by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) revealed the coexistence of small unilamellar vesicles and small rods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-473
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption
  • Aggregation
  • Amino acid-based surfactant
  • Cmc
  • Gemini surfactant
  • Surface tension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Adsorption and aggregation properties of amino acid-based N-alkyl cysteine monomeric and N, N-dialkyl cystine gemini surfactants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this