A small-angle neutron scattering study of intermicellar interactions in microemulsions of AOT, water, and near-critical propane

Eric W. Kaler, John F. Billman, John L. Fulton, Richard D. Smith

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88 Scopus citations

Abstract

Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) measurements of high-pressure solutions of propane/sodium bis(2-ethylhexyl) sulfosuccinate (AOT)/D2O have demonstrated that a water-in-oil microemulsion phase can be formed in propane. The dispersed droplets are, within experimental error, the same size as those formed in conventional microemulsions at the same water-to-surfactant ratio, and the size does not depend on propane density. The interdroplet interaction potential was modeled as a hard-core repulsion augmented by a strong and extremely short range attraction. This model describes droplets whose hydrocarbon tails are strongly attractive to the hydrocarbon tails of adjacent droplets. The SANS fit shows that the magnitude of the tail-tail attractive interactions may be much stronger than the longer range van der Waals type attractive interactions between the water cores of the droplets. These findings confirm results of IR and UV-vis spectroscopic studies of near-critical and supercritical fluid microemulsions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-462
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry
Volume95
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

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