Wetting in oil/water/surfactant systems

Philip A. Ash, Colin D. Bain, Hiroki Matsubara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The behaviour of oils at aqueous interfaces is ubiquitous to many industrially and biologically relevant processes. In this review we consider modifications to the wetting properties of oils at the air/water, oil/water and solid/liquid interfaces in the presence of surfactants. First-order wetting transitions can be induced in a wide range of oils by varying the aqueous surfactant concentration, leading to the formation of mixed monolayers at the interface. In certain cases, these mixed monolayers display novel surface freezing behaviour, including the formation of unusual bilayer structures, which further modifies the properties of the interface. The effects of surfactant on line tension at the three-phase contact line and differences between the air/liquid and liquid/liquid interfaces are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-204
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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