Two new surfactant molecules are reported which contain thermally labile Diels-Alder adducts connecting the polar and non-polar sections of each molecule. The two surfactants possess identical non-polar dodecyl tail segments but exhibit different polar headgroups. The surfactants become soluble in water when anionic salts are formed through the deprotonation of the surfactant headgroups by the addition of potassium hydroxide. When either surfactant is exposed to temperature above about 60.degree. C., the retro Diels-Alder reaction occurs, yielding hydrophilic and hydrophobic fragments or the aqueous solutions of the surfactants subsequently exhibit loss of all surface-active behavior.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
The invention described below was made with Government support under government contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention, including a paid-up license and the right, in limited circumstances, to require the owner of any patent issuing in this invention to license others on reasonable terms.