A series of ethoxylates of 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol mono-isobutyrate representing a synthetic C12 hydroxyester hydrophobe was obtained. The solubility parameters, surface tension and critical micelle concentrations for model solutions were investigated. The new surfactants were found to produce extremely low foam levels and a non-standard surface interfacial behavior was determined. It was observed that the ethoxylates of the C12 hydroxyester formed an oriented monolayer at the interface regardless of their average polyaddition degree. Such behavior is different from the surface activities of commonly known linear nonionic surfactants and it indicates self organization of the surfactants at the interface. This feature offers possibility for application of these surfactants in nanotechnology as well as in the conventional cleaning processes.
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