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Issue 8, 2009
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Exploiting particle shape in solid stabilized emulsions

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Pickering–Ramsden emulsions and other forms of particle stabilized soft materials have received quite some attention recently because of the relative ease of formulation and the possibility to create novel materials. There is, however, a clear need for approaches that are versatile and efficient. In the present work the effect of aspect ratio of particles on the stability of both water-in-oil and oil-in-water emulsions is investigated experimentally. Two types of non-spherical particles are used. Hydrophobic prolate ellipsoids with aspect ratios ranging from 1 to 9 are obtained by stretching polystyrene latex particles. Hydrophilic spindle type hematite particles have been synthesized with aspect ratios ranging from 1 to 6. A strong dependence of emulsion stability on the aspect ratio of the particles is observed. Optical as well as cryogenic scanning electron microscopy are used to visualize the droplet morphology and particulate structure and reveal fairly densely packed monolayers of ellipsoids, consistent with the mechanism of limited coalescence. Yet stable emulsions are only obtained for particles with a sufficient aspect ratio. Surface rheology on planar monolayers demonstrates the pronounced effect of aspect ratio on the surface moduli. The magnitude of the interfacial viscoelastic properties is shown to strongly depend on the aspect ratio at a given surface coverage. This is most probably due to an increased effective coverage and the occurrence of strong attractive shape induced capillary interactions. The dependence of the surface rheological properties on the aspect ratio of the particles rationalizes the observed emulsion stability as the surface rheological properties play a role in the coalescence process. The results demonstrate that interfaces with controlled surface rheology, as obtained by using shape induced capillary forces and packing effects, can be used for the rational design of Pickering emulsions and other types of high interface materials.

Graphical abstract: Exploiting particle shape in solid stabilized emulsions

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Sep 2008, accepted on 15 Jan 2009 and first published on 02 Mar 2009

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B816680C
Soft Matter, 2009,5, 1717-1727

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    Exploiting particle shape in solid stabilized emulsions

    B. Madivala, S. Vandebril, J. Fransaer and J. Vermant, Soft Matter, 2009, 5, 1717
    DOI: 10.1039/B816680C

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