Effect of hydrotropes on film bending energy in w/o microemulsions

  • Julian Eastoe (Creator)
  • CZAJKA Adam (Creator)
  • Isabelle Grillo (Creator)
  • HAZELL Gavin (Creator)
  • NAVARRO Miguel (Creator)
  • Jocelyn Peach (Creator)
  • PEGG Jonathan (Creator)
  • YAN Ci (Creator)



Hydrotropes are small amphiphilic molecules with hydrophilic character. The compounds have numerous industrial uses as additives for enhancing solubilization of hydrophobic compounds, detergents, stabilizing emulsions etc. When used in combination with surfactants, hydrotropes give enhanced stabilization to systems of research interest, such as water-in-oil (w/o) and oil-in-water (o/w) microemulsions. Interestingly hydrotropes added to spherical droplet microemulsions can induce formation of anisotropic droplets (ellipsoid/cylindrical) - in both aqueous and oily phases. This shows that hydrotropes have a profound effect on properties of the interfacial films, forcing curvatures different from spherical. Such changes in film packing and aggregation shape enhance viscosity of the dispersions, suggesting potential applications such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR). However, origins of these properties of hydrotropes are not yet properly understood. Here, a method is proposed to investigate the effect of hydrotrope molecules as stabilizers in mixed films with a standard surfactant, in w/o microemulsions, by studying the surfactant film bending energies using SANS.
Date made available16 May 2020
PublisherInstitut Laue-Langevin (ILL)

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