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Issue 10, 2009
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Stable ‘soap and water’ sponges doped with metal nanoparticles

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This paper presents various aspects of surfactant/oil/water L3 phases. Although these so-called ‘sponge phases’ are usually stable only within a narrow temperature range, we show here that they can be stabilized over a larger phase space by doping with metal nanoparticle suspensions. We make and study sponge-phase samples doped with Au, Ag, and Pd aquasols and organosols. Remarkably, Pd-doped sponge phases are stable up to temperatures as high as 50 °C. Polarised microscopy studies as well as small-angle X-ray scattering measurements (SAXS) confirm that the nanoparticles are indeed incorporated in the sponge phase membrane. Moreover, rheological measurements show that, unlike the undoped samples, metal-doped sponge phases exhibit reversible phase transitions under shear stress. The various factors that control the stability and special optical properties of these metal-doped sponge phases are outlined and discussed.

Graphical abstract: Stable ‘soap and water’ sponges doped with metal nanoparticles

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Article information

19 Aug 2008
26 Jan 2009
First published
05 Mar 2009

Soft Matter, 2009,5, 1994-1999
Article type

Stable ‘soap and water’ sponges doped with metal nanoparticles

A. V. Gaikwad, P. Verschuren, T. van der Loop, G. Rothenberg and E. Eiser, Soft Matter, 2009, 5, 1994
DOI: 10.1039/B814395A

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