[en] Electron spin resonance spectroscopy (ESR) of the nitroxide labelled fatty acid probes (5-, 16-doxyl stearic acid) was used to monitor the micelle microviscosity of three surfactants at various concentrations in aqueous solution: sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide (DTAB) and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). At low surfactant concentration, there is no micelle, the ESR probe is dissolved in water/surfactant homogeneous phase and gives his microviscosity. At higher surfactant concentration, an abrupt increase in microviscosity indicates the apparition of micelles and, the solubilization of the probes in micelles. The microviscosity of the three surfactants, in a large surfactant range, was obtained as well as the critical micelle concentration (CMC). The microviscosity increased slightly with the increase in surfactant concentration. Phosphate buffer lowered the CMC value and generally increased the microviscosity. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.