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Issue 18, 2016
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Quantitative morphological characterization of bicontinuous Pickering emulsions via interfacial curvatures

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Abstract

Bicontinuous Pickering emulsions (bijels) are a physically interesting class of soft materials with many potential applications including catalysis, microfluidics and tissue engineering. They are created by arresting the spinodal decomposition of a partially-miscible liquid with a (jammed) layer of interfacial colloids. Porosity L (average interfacial separation) of the bijel is controlled by varying the radius (r) and volume fraction (ϕ) of the colloids (Lr/ϕ). However, to optimize the bijel structure with respect to other parameters, e.g. quench rate, characterizing by L alone is insufficient. Hence, we have used confocal microscopy and X-ray CT to characterize a range of bijels in terms of local and area-averaged interfacial curvatures; we further demonstrate that bijels are bicontinuous using an image-analysis technique known as ‘region growing’. In addition, the curvatures of bijels have been monitored as a function of time, which has revealed an intriguing evolution up to 60 minutes after bijel formation, contrary to previous understanding.

Graphical abstract: Quantitative morphological characterization of bicontinuous Pickering emulsions via interfacial curvatures

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
23 Dec 2015
Accepted
22 Mar 2016
First published
22 Mar 2016

This article is Open Access

Soft Matter, 2016,12, 4082-4092
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Quantitative morphological characterization of bicontinuous Pickering emulsions via interfacial curvatures

M. Reeves, K. Stratford and J. H. J. Thijssen, Soft Matter, 2016, 12, 4082
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM03102H

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