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Phase transition pathways for the production of 100 nm oil-in-water emulsions

Royal Soc Chemistry
Publication Date
  • Chemistry


Oil/water emulsions can be produced through phase inversion, by adding water to a reverse water/oil microemulsion. According to small angle neutron scattering experiments and visual observations performed during phase inversion, the stages of this process are as follows: (i) upon water addition, the microemulsion gives way to a highly swollen lamellar phase; (ii) the transient lamellar phase breaks up to yield an array of droplets; (iii) the droplets loses the correlations of the lamellar phase. This emulsion is already present less than one minute after the initial addition of water, and it reaches the final size distribution in one hour. The final population of oil droplets is homogenous with a mean diameter below 100 nm.

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