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Micellization of surfactant solutions is a ubiquitous phenomenon in natural systems
and technological processes, and its theoretical description represents one of the
cornerstone problems in the physical chemistry of colloidal systems. However, successful
attempts of quantitative modeling confirmed by experimental data remains limited.
We show, for the first time, that the dissipative particle dynamics with rigorously
defined soft repulsion interaction and rigidity parameters is capable of predicting
micellar self-assembly of nonionic surfactants. This is achieved due to a novel approach
suggested for defining the interaction parameters by fitting to the infinite dilution
activity coefficients of binary solutions formed by reference compounds that represent
coarse-grained fragments of surfactant molecules. Using this new parametrization scheme,
we obtained quantitative agreement with the experimental critical micelle concentration
and aggregation number for several typical surfactants of different chemical structures.
The proposed approach can be extended to various colloidal and polymeric systems beyond
nonionic surfactant solutions.