Molecular dynamics simulation for morphological change of water-in-oil microemulsion droplets induced by addition of polymer chains

Takahisa Kurokawa, Naohito Urakami, Kaori Nakaya Yaegashi, Ai Sakashita, Masayuki Imai, Takashi Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We carried out molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the morphological change of water-in-oil microemulsion (ME) droplets by addition of polymer chains. Several experiments have shown an increase in the polydispersity of ME droplet size and the morphological transition of spherical ME droplets to a rod-like shape by encapsulating the polymer chain in ME droplets. In order to understand these changes in the ME droplets, we studied the effects of the chain concentration and the interaction strength between chains and surfactant. When the interaction strength was weak, we obtained spherical droplets rather than rod-like droplets. Two types of spherical ME droplets were observed: large spherical droplets containing polymer chains and small spherical droplets without chains, which resulted in a large size polydispersity. However, when the interaction strength was great, a coalescence of ME droplets containing polymer chains was observed and the morphology of the droplets finally changed to a rod-like shape with an increase in the chain concentration. The morphological change can be explained by the competition between the chain-surfactant interaction energy and the surfactant monolayer bending energy, thus the interaction energy prefers a rod-like shape to gain a large contact area between the chains and the surfactant monolayer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7504-7510
Number of pages7
JournalSoft Matter
Volume7
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug 21
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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