A water in oil microemulsion system composed of water, surfactant, and oil, the latter two components of perfluoropolyether (PFPE) type, has been studied by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) with the aim of knowing the microstructure of the system and to have an insight on the connection between microstructure characterization and percolation behavior. In fact, along the dilution line W/S = 11 of the phase diagram, dielectric spectroscopy and conductivity studies revealed a dynamic percolation process taking place approaching and above the dynamic percolation threshold, leading to a system composed of droplet clusters with percolation thresholds varying with temperature from a 0.501 volume fraction of the dispersed phase at 9.3 °C to 0.205 at 32.5 °C. The SANS experimental spectra of this work have been studied by modeling the microemulsion droplets as adhesive hard spheres. For all of the samples, the surfactant area per polar head has been also measured in the Porod region of the SANS spectra. Geometric and potential parameters as well as the osmotic pressure, the second virial coefficient, and the distance between droplets have been extracted from data as a function of droplets concentration. At low concentration, that is, below percolation thresholds, the droplets behave as hard spheres, whereas at threshold and above, adhesion changes significantly the samples. In fact, for each temperature, the measured size increases versus concentration from 30 to 50 Å, and the area per polar head decreases correspondingly, suggesting that a process of dynamic fusion of droplets occurs in the system above threshold, that is, couples of droplets stick and unstick continuously with interdigitation of the surfactant tails.

Small-Angle Neutron Scattering of Percolative Perfluoropolyether Water in Oil Microemulsions

GIORDANO, Rita;
2010-01-01

Abstract

A water in oil microemulsion system composed of water, surfactant, and oil, the latter two components of perfluoropolyether (PFPE) type, has been studied by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) with the aim of knowing the microstructure of the system and to have an insight on the connection between microstructure characterization and percolation behavior. In fact, along the dilution line W/S = 11 of the phase diagram, dielectric spectroscopy and conductivity studies revealed a dynamic percolation process taking place approaching and above the dynamic percolation threshold, leading to a system composed of droplet clusters with percolation thresholds varying with temperature from a 0.501 volume fraction of the dispersed phase at 9.3 °C to 0.205 at 32.5 °C. The SANS experimental spectra of this work have been studied by modeling the microemulsion droplets as adhesive hard spheres. For all of the samples, the surfactant area per polar head has been also measured in the Porod region of the SANS spectra. Geometric and potential parameters as well as the osmotic pressure, the second virial coefficient, and the distance between droplets have been extracted from data as a function of droplets concentration. At low concentration, that is, below percolation thresholds, the droplets behave as hard spheres, whereas at threshold and above, adhesion changes significantly the samples. In fact, for each temperature, the measured size increases versus concentration from 30 to 50 Å, and the area per polar head decreases correspondingly, suggesting that a process of dynamic fusion of droplets occurs in the system above threshold, that is, couples of droplets stick and unstick continuously with interdigitation of the surfactant tails.
2010
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/1904345
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