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Light‐Responsive, Reversible Emulsification and Demulsification of Oil‐in‐Water Pickering Emulsions for Catalysis

Li, Zhiyong; Shi, Yunlei; Zhu, Anlian; Zhao, Yuling; Wang, Huiyong; Binks, Bernard P.; Wang, Jianji


Zhiyong Li

Yunlei Shi

Anlian Zhu

Yuling Zhao

Huiyong Wang

Jianji Wang


Pickering emulsions are an excellent platform for interfacial catalysis. However, developing simple and efficient strategies to achieve product separation and catalyst and emulsifier recovery is still a challenge. Herein, we report the reversible transition between emulsification and demulsification of a light‐responsive Pickering emulsion, triggered by alternating between UV and visible light irradiation. The Pickering emulsion is fabricated from Pd‐supported silica nanoparticles, azobenzene ionic liquid surfactant, n‐octane, and water. This phase behavior is attributed to the adsorption of azobenzene ionic liquid surfactant on the surface of the nanoparticles and the light‐responsive activity of ionic liquid surfactant. The Pickering emulsion can be used as a microreactor that enables catalytic reaction, product separation as well as emulsifier and catalyst recycling. Catalytic hydrogenation of unsaturated hydrocarbons at room temperature and atmospheric pressure has been performed in this system to demonstrate product separation and emulsifier and catalyst re‐use.


Li, Z., Shi, Y., Zhu, A., Zhao, Y., Wang, H., Binks, B. P., & Wang, J. (in press). Light‐Responsive, Reversible Emulsification and Demulsification of Oil‐in‐Water Pickering Emulsions for Catalysis. Angewandte Chemie,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 9, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 17, 2020
Deposit Date Feb 10, 2021
Publicly Available Date Dec 18, 2021
Journal Angewandte Chemie
Print ISSN 1433-7851
Electronic ISSN 1521-3757
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Ionic liquids; Microreactors; Phase separation; Light responsiveness; Pickering emulsion
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Article (685 Kb)

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©2020 The authors. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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