Janus particles are colloids that have both hydrophilic and hydrophobic faces. Recent advances in particle synthesis enable the generation of geometrically and chemically anisotropic Janus particles with high uniformity and precision. These amphiphilic particles are similar to molecular surfactants in many aspects; they self-assemble in bulk media and also readily attach to fluid interfaces. These particles, just like molecular surfactants, could potentially function as effective stabilizers for various multiphasic systems such as emulsions and foams. In particular, just as the shape and chemical composition have a significant impact on the surfactancy of molecular amphiphiles, the ability to control the shape and wetting properties of Janus particles could provide a unique opportunity to control their surface activity. In this review, we first examine the recent developments in using amphiphilic Janus particles as colloid surfactants to stabilize multiphasic mixtures such as emulsions. These results have motivated a number of detailed investigations aimed at understanding the behaviour of Janus particles at fluid–fluid interfaces at the microscopic level, which we highlight. This review also discusses the importance of controlling the shape of Janus particles, which has a drastic impact on their behaviour at fluid interfaces. We conclude this review by presenting outlook on the future directions and outstanding problems that warrant further study to fully enable the utilization of Janus particles as colloid surfactants in practical applications.
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