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Title: Bicontinuous structured liquids with sub-micrometre domains using nanoparticle surfactants

Abstract

Bicontinuous jammed emulsions (or bijels) are tortuous, interconnected structures of two immiscible liquids, kinetically trapped by colloidal particles that are irreversibly bound to the oil–water interface. A wealth of applications has been proposed for bijels in catalysis, energy storage and molecular encapsulation, but large domain sizes (on the order of 5 µm or larger) and difficulty in fabrication pose major barriers to their use. In this paper, we show that bijels with sub-micrometre domains can be formed via homogenization, rather than spinodal decomposition. We achieve this by using nanoparticle surfactants: polymers and nanoparticles of complementary functionality (for example, ion-pairing) that bind to one another at the oil–water interface. This allows the stabilization of the bijel far from the demixing point of the liquids, with interfacial tensions on the order of 20 mN m-1. Finally, furthermore, our strategy is extremely versatile, as solvent, nanoparticle and ligand can all be varied.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [5];  [6]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Materials Sciences Division; Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States). Polymer Science and Engineering Dept.; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Neutron Science Directorate
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Materials Sciences Division
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Neutron Science Directorate
  5. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Materials Sciences Division. The Molecular Foundry
  6. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Materials Sciences Division; Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (United States). Polymer Science and Engineering Dept.; Beijing Univ. of Chemical Technology (China). Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Soft Matter Science and Engineering; Tohoku Univ., Sendai (Japan). WPI-Advanced Inst. for Materials Research (WPI-AIMR)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1423059
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1468343
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Nanotechnology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-3387
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; composites; materials for energy and catalysis; nanoparticles; other nanotechnology

Citation Formats

Huang, Caili, Forth, Joe, Wang, Weiyu, Hong, Kunlun, Smith, Gregory S., Helms, Brett A., and Russell, Thomas P. Bicontinuous structured liquids with sub-micrometre domains using nanoparticle surfactants. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1038/NNANO.2017.182.
Huang, Caili, Forth, Joe, Wang, Weiyu, Hong, Kunlun, Smith, Gregory S., Helms, Brett A., & Russell, Thomas P. Bicontinuous structured liquids with sub-micrometre domains using nanoparticle surfactants. United States. doi:10.1038/NNANO.2017.182.
Huang, Caili, Forth, Joe, Wang, Weiyu, Hong, Kunlun, Smith, Gregory S., Helms, Brett A., and Russell, Thomas P. Mon . "Bicontinuous structured liquids with sub-micrometre domains using nanoparticle surfactants". United States. doi:10.1038/NNANO.2017.182. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1423059.
@article{osti_1423059,
title = {Bicontinuous structured liquids with sub-micrometre domains using nanoparticle surfactants},
author = {Huang, Caili and Forth, Joe and Wang, Weiyu and Hong, Kunlun and Smith, Gregory S. and Helms, Brett A. and Russell, Thomas P.},
abstractNote = {Bicontinuous jammed emulsions (or bijels) are tortuous, interconnected structures of two immiscible liquids, kinetically trapped by colloidal particles that are irreversibly bound to the oil–water interface. A wealth of applications has been proposed for bijels in catalysis, energy storage and molecular encapsulation, but large domain sizes (on the order of 5 µm or larger) and difficulty in fabrication pose major barriers to their use. In this paper, we show that bijels with sub-micrometre domains can be formed via homogenization, rather than spinodal decomposition. We achieve this by using nanoparticle surfactants: polymers and nanoparticles of complementary functionality (for example, ion-pairing) that bind to one another at the oil–water interface. This allows the stabilization of the bijel far from the demixing point of the liquids, with interfacial tensions on the order of 20 mN m-1. Finally, furthermore, our strategy is extremely versatile, as solvent, nanoparticle and ligand can all be varied.},
doi = {10.1038/NNANO.2017.182},
journal = {Nature Nanotechnology},
number = 11,
volume = 12,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {9}
}

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