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Reflectometry Reveals Accumulation of Surfactant Impurities at Bare Oil/Water Interfaces

Scoppola, Ernesto ; Micciulla, Samantha ; Kuhrts, Lucas ; Maestro, Armando ; Campbell, Richard A. ; Konovalov, Oleg V. ; Fragneto, Giovanna ; Schneck, Emanuel (2022):
Reflectometry Reveals Accumulation of Surfactant Impurities at Bare Oil/Water Interfaces. (Publisher's Version)
In: Molecules, 24 (22), MDPI, e-ISSN 1420-3049,
DOI: 10.26083/tuprints-00015737,

Copyright Information: CC BY 4.0 International - Creative Commons, Attribution.

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Item Type: Article
Origin: Secondary publication DeepGreen
Status: Publisher's Version
Title: Reflectometry Reveals Accumulation of Surfactant Impurities at Bare Oil/Water Interfaces
Language: English

Bare interfaces between water and hydrophobic media like air or oil are of fundamental scientific interest and of great relevance for numerous applications. A number of observations involving water/hydrophobic interfaces have, however, eluded a consensus mechanistic interpretation so far. Recent theoretical studies ascribe these phenomena to an interfacial accumulation of charged surfactant impurities in water. In the present work, we show that identifying surfactant accumulation with X-ray reflectometry (XRR) or neutron reflectometry (NR) is challenging under conventional contrast configurations because interfacial surfactant layers are then hardly visible. On the other hand, both XRR and NR become more sensitive to surfactant accumulation when a suitable scattering length contrast is generated by using fluorinated oil. With this approach, significant interfacial accumulation of surfactant impurities at the bare oil/water interface is observed in experiments involving standard cleaning procedures. These results suggest that surfactant impurities may be a limiting factor for the investigation of fundamental phenomena involving water/hydrophobic interfaces.

Journal or Publication Title: Molecules
Volume of the journal: 24
Issue Number: 22
Place of Publication: Darmstadt
Publisher: MDPI
Collation: 16 Seiten
Uncontrolled Keywords: X-ray reflectometry, neutron reflectometry, fluorocarbons, liquid/liquid interfaces
Classification DDC: 500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik > 530 Physik
500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik > 540 Chemie
Divisions: 05 Department of Physics > Institute for Condensed Matter Physics
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 15:29
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2023 07:55
DOI: 10.26083/tuprints-00015737
Corresponding Links:
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-157375
SWORD Depositor: Deep Green
URI: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/id/eprint/15737
PPN: 505481111
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