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The interfacial structure of polymeric surfactant stabilised air-in-water foams

Hurcom, Jamie, Paul, Alison ORCID:, Heenan, Richard K, Davies, Alun M., Woodman, Nicholas, Schweins, Ralf and Griffiths, Peter C. 2014. The interfacial structure of polymeric surfactant stabilised air-in-water foams. Soft Matter 10 (17) , pp. 3003-3008. 10.1039/C3SM52877D

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Small-angle neutron scattering was used to probe the interfacial structure of nitrogen-in-water foams created using a series of tri-block polymeric surfactants of the poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene oxide) (EOx-POy-EOx) range, from which the nature of the polymeric interface could be characterised. The data follow a pronounced Q(-4) decay, along with a number of inflexions and weak but well-defined peaks. These characteristics were well-described by a model embodying paracrystalline stacks of adsorbed polymer layers, whose formation is induced by the presence of the air-water interface, adsorbed at the flat air-water (film lamellae) interface. A minimum of approximately five paracrystalline polymer layers of thickness of the order of 85-160 Å, interspersed with somewhat thicker (400 Å) films of continuous aqueous phase were found to best fit the data. The thickness of the layer (L) was shown to follow a relationship predicted by anchor block dominated polymer adsorption theories from non-selective solvents, L ∼ EO(1)PO(1/3). The insight gained from these studies should permit a more rational design of polymeric stabilisers for hydrophilic polyurethane foams.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Publisher: RSC Publishing
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 17 February 2014
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 09:24

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