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Structure and dynamics of nanoemulsions: Insights from combining dynamic and static neutron scattering

: Hoffmann, I.; Heunemann, P.; Farago, B.; Grillo, I.; Holderer, O.; Päch, M.; Gradzielski, M.


Physical Review. E 86 (2012), Nr.6, Art.061407, 9 S.
ISSN: 1063-651X
ISSN: 1539-3755
Fraunhofer IAP ()

Despite their lack of thermodynamical stability, nanoemulsions can show a remarkable degree of kinetic stability. Among the various different preparation methods the phase-inversion concentration method is particularly interesting as it occurs spontaneously. Here we investigate such a system composed of a surfactant, cosurfactant, and oil that upon dilution with water forms long time metastable oil-in-water nanoemulsion droplets. The dynamics of the amphiphilic monolayers and its elastic properties is important for their stability and therefore the monolayer dynamics have been investigated by neutron spin echo (NSE). Despite the difficulties arising from the inherently polydisperse nature and the large number of different components necessarily contained in commercial nanoemulsion formulations, information concerning the membrane rigidity was extracted from the combination of small angle neutron scattering and NSE and several different formulations are compared. These results show that small amounts of different admixed ionic surfactants can modify the monolayer rigidity substantially and similarly effects of surface bound polyelectrolytes have been evaluated.