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High internal phase emulsions: Catastrophic phase inversion, stability, and triggered destabilization

Dunstan, Timothy S.; Fletcher, Paul D.I.; Mashinchi, Saeed


Paul D.I. Fletcher

Saeed Mashinchi


We have investigated the formation, drop sizes, and stability of emulsions prepared by hand shaking in a closed vessel in which the emulsion is in contact with a single type of surface during its formation. The emulsions undergo catastrophic phase inversion from oil-in-water (o/w) to water-in-oil (w/o) as the oil volume fraction is increased. We find that the oil volume fraction required for catastrophic inversion exhibits a linear correlation with the oil-water-solid surface contact angle. W/o high internal phase emulsions (HIPEs) prepared in this way contain water drops of diameters in the range 10-100 μm; emulsion drop size depends on the surfactant concentration and method of preparation. W/o HIPEs with large water drops show water separation but w/o HIPEs with small water drops are stable with respect to water separation for more than 100 days. The destabilization of the w/o HIPEs can be triggered by either evaporation of the oil continuous phase or by contact the emulsion with a solid surface of the "wrong" wettability. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Dunstan, T. S., Fletcher, P. D., & Mashinchi, S. (2012). High internal phase emulsions: Catastrophic phase inversion, stability, and triggered destabilization. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids, 28(1), 339-349.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Dec 19, 2011
Publication Date Jan 10, 2012
Deposit Date Apr 7, 2022
Journal Langmuir
Print ISSN 0743-7463
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 1
Pages 339-349
Keywords Contact angle; Emulsions; Lipids; Surfactants; Water
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