Quantitative Morphological Characterization of Bicontinuous Pickering Emulsions via Interfacial Curvatures

Matthew Reeves, Kevin Stratford, Job Thijssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

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 (f) of the colloids (L ~ r/f). 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4082-4092
JournalSoft Matter
Early online date22 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • bijel
  • bicontinuous
  • emulsions
  • Pickering emulsions
  • Microscopy, Confocal


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  • Pint of Science 2017

    Job Thijssen (Presenter)

    15 May 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar

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