A surfactantless emulsion as a model for the liquid-liquid interface
An electrochemically polarised liquid-liquid interface in the form of a surfactantless oil-in-water emulsion has been developed, and its creation, stabilisation and use as a model liquid-liquid system for structural characterisation using Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) are described. The emulsion, composed of 1,2-dichloroethane (DCE)-in-D20, was created using a condensation method and the two main processes of destabilisation, sedimentation and coalescence, were minimised using density-matching and electrochemistry. The stabilised emulsion interface was then studied with SANS, using the Dll and D22 diffractometers at the ILL and LOQ at ISIS. This was to determine structural information regarding a layer of adsorbed Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) protein at the interface with and without stabilising salts and the only analysable results were obtained using Dll, due to the lower Q-range accessible. The BSA layer thickness was determined to be 40 and 48 A for emulsions with and without salts respectively, and this was comparable with the literature thickness of 40 A. Another use for the surfactantless emulsion would be for electrodeless electrodeposition of metals at the interface, utilising the interfacial potential, and preliminary experiments were carried out using both oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions.