Mulling over Nanoemulsions: Interfacial Molecular Structure, Stabilization and Assembly
Prof. Geri Richmond
Presidential Chair in Science
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
Since the Romans first spread oil on water to calm the raging seas, curiosity has persisted about the unique nature of the interface between water and a hydrophobic liquid. Understanding how molecules behave at an oil-water interface is critical for the formulation of many commercial products and also for developing new oil-remediation dispersants that are environmentally benign.
This presentation will focus on our most recent efforts in understanding what happens on a molecular level to interfacial water molecules at the oil-water junction of planar and spherical droplet surfaces in the absence of surfactants, and also how surfactants structure and assemble at these interfaces to stabilize the nanoemulsions. Through a comparison of this adsorptive behavior at the two surface geometries new insights into molecular factors that can be contributing to surfactant stabilization of emulsions will be presented. The studies involve a combination of vibrational sum frequency spectroscopy, computational, zeta potential and surface tension measurements.