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Bijels formed by direct mixing

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http://xlink.rsc.org/?DOI=C7SM00897J
Original languageEnglish
JournalSoft Matter
Early online date3 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jul 2017

Abstract

By combining interfacial nanoparticles and molecular surfactants together with immiscible liquids of high viscosity, we develop an alternative strategy for creating bicontinuous interfacially jammed emulsion gels (bijels). These bijels are prepared from common ingredients which are widely used in industry: glycerol, silicone oil, silica nanoparticles together with cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) surfactant. We tune the sample composition and develop a multi-step mixing protocol to achieve a tortuous arrangement of liquid domains. We show that the nanoparticle location changes from one of the phases to the interface during mixing. The changes in both the microscopic and macroscopic sample configuration after a waiting time of months were assessed. In order for the structure to have long-term stability we find that the densities of the two phases must be similar which we achieved by filling one of the phases with nanoparticle-stabilised droplets of the other. This work paves the way to the production of bijels using fully immiscible liquids and hence their exploitation in many application areas.

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