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Langmuir. 2008 Jul 15;24(14):7161-8. doi: 10.1021/la800478g. Epub 2008 Jun 12.

Stabilization of oil-in-water emulsions by colloidal particles modified with short amphiphiles.

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Nonmetallic Inorganic Materials, Department of Materials, ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland.


Emulsions stabilized through the adsorption of colloidal particles at the liquid-liquid interface have long been used and investigated in a number of different applications. The interfacial adsorption of particles can be induced by adjusting the particle wetting behavior in the liquid media. Here, we report a new approach to prepare stable oil-in-water emulsions by tailoring the wetting behavior of colloidal particles in water using short amphiphilic molecules. We illustrate the method using hydrophilic metal oxide particles initially dispersed in the aqueous phase. The wettability of such particles in water is reduced by an in situ surface hydrophobization that induces particle adsorption at oil-water interfaces. We evaluate the conditions required for particle adsorption at the liquid-liquid interface and discuss the effect of the emulsion initial composition on the final microstructure of oil-water mixtures containing high concentrations of alumina particles modified with short carboxylic acids. This new approach for emulsion preparation can be easily applied to a variety of other metal oxide particles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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