There is a relatively small range of concentrations separating the limit below which virtually no micelle are detected and the limit above which virtually all additional surfactant molecules form micelles. Many properties of surfactant solutions, if plotted against the concentration, appear to change at a different rate above and below this range. By extrapolating the loci of such a property above and below this range until they intersect, a value may be obtained known as the critical micellization concentration (critical micelle concentration), symbol cM, abbreviation cmc
). As values obtained using different properties are not quite identical, the method by which the cmc
is determined should be clearly stated.
See also: inverted micelle
PAC, 1994, 66, 1077. 'Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)' on page 1101 (https://doi.org/10.1351/pac199466051077)