(318f) Understanding Interfacial Interactions in Bijels | AIChE

(318f) Understanding Interfacial Interactions in Bijels


Tree, D. - Presenter, Brigham Young University
Alhasan, R., Brigham Young University
Most soft materials are made by processing techniques that render their final properties a function of their process history and not just their equilibrium structure. One example is the bicontinuous interfacially jammed emulsion gels (bijels), a material with numerous potential applications. Bijels are formed when solid particles get jammed at the interface between two immiscible liquids undergoing a phase separation, kinetically arresting this system. In this work, we aim to quantitatively understand the surface energy of the fluid-fluid-particle interface and how these forces influence jamming. Our goal is to investigate whether surface forces are enough to create a stable bijel. We adopt an approach that incorporates solid particles into a phase field model, similar to the Fluid Particle Dynamics method. This approach has many benefits, including transparent methods for calculating surface tension, particle-particle interactions, and hydrodynamic interactions in dense colloidal suspensions, and it avoids complicated and costly methods for tracking particle boundaries. Our preliminary results suggest that our approach would generate purely repulsive particles that may be stable enough at the fluid-fluid interface to jam, suggesting that attractive forces may not be needed for bijel stability.

We acknowledge the financial support from BYU Board of trustees and the resources from the Office of Research Computing at BYU.