Specialists from the University of Illinois today presented a new unique study on a new approach to creating the so-called nanoemulsions – formed by self-assembled nanoparticles around water droplets in the emulsion. A team of chemical engineers led by Professor Sushant Anand has developed a new method for creating such nanoemulsions, which consists of only one technological step – in contrast to the traditional model, where there are many sequential steps. The described method was presented in the latest issue of the scientific journal ACS Applied Materials and it is based on the use of the Pickering method of creating nanoemulsions.
Pickering's principle is that to create nanoemulsions, it is necessary to use special molecules of surfactants to prevent the collection of water droplets – this property is just blocked by these substances, allowing nanoparticles to envelop the droplets and form a nanoemulsion. It is worth noting that the success of the new procedure promises a really noticeable improvement in all areas of activity and industry where nanoemulsions are used – from scientific laboratories to beauty salons.
The team focused on the previously described Pickering process and found that additional cooling of the oil to a low temperature – as one example of the basis of a nanoemulsion – further stabilizes the process of blocking the collection of water droplets in the emulsion, essentially improving the activity of surfactants. Thus, the final result leads to the fact that the team managed to achieve even greater stability of the process.
A nanoemulsion made in this way within one technological step has much higher chemical stability and the nanoparticles participating in it exhibit a significantly higher level of compliance with external changes – which suggests a really effective work with them in the future. However, scientists point out that this process still has some flaws and questionable features.