Magnetic surfactants: A review of recent progress in synthesis and applications

Farrukh Shehzad, Syed Muhammad Shakil Hussain, Ahmad A. Adewunmi, Ahmad Mahboob, Mobeen Murtaza, Muhammad Shahzad Kamal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Magnetic surfactants are a special class of surfactants with magneto-responsive properties. These surfactants possess lower critical micelle concentrations and are more effective in reducing surface tension as compared to conventional surfactants. Such surfactants' ability to manipulate self-assembly in a controlled way by tuning the magnetic field makes them an attractive choice for several applications, including drug delivery, catalysis, separation, oilfield, and water treatment. In this work, we reviewed the properties of magnetic surfactants and possible explanations of magnetic behavior. This article also covers the synthesis methods that can be used to synthesize different types of cationic, anionic, nonionic, and zwitterionic magnetic surfactants. The applications of magnetic surfactants in different fields such as biotechnology, water treatment, catalysis, and oilfield have been discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102441
JournalAdvances in Colloid and Interface Science
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Drug delivery
  • Interfacial tension
  • Magnetic Counterions
  • Magnetic surfactant
  • Self assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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