A term used to describe a compound containing a large organic cation or anion which possesses a long unbranched hydrocarbon chain, e.g. CH3(CH2)nCO2−M+CH3(CH2)nN+(CH3)3X−
The existence of distinct polar (hydrophilic) and nonpolar (hydrophobic) regions in the molecule promotes the formation of micelles
in dilute aqueous solution.
See also: amphipathic
PAC, 1994, 66, 1077. 'Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)' on page 1083 (https://doi.org/10.1351/pac199466051077)