In chemistry, hydrophobicity (from the combining form of water in Attic Greek hydro- and for fear phobos) refers to the
physical property of a molecule (known as a hydrophobe) that is repelled from a mass of water.
Hydrophobic molecules tend to be non-polar and thus prefer other neutral molecules and nonpolar solvents.
Hydrophobic molecules in water often cluster together forming micelles. Water on hydrophobic surfaces will exhibit a
high contact angle.
Examples of hydrophobic molecules include the alkanes, oils, fats, and greasy substances in general. Hydrophobic
materials are used for oil removal from water, the management of oil spills, and chemical separation processes to
remove non-polar from polar compounds.
Hydrophobic is often used interchangeably with lipophilic, "fat loving." However, the two terms are not synonymous. While
hydrophobic substances are usually lipophilic, there are exceptions — such as the silicones and fluorocarbons.
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