Electric Polarization of W/O-Microemulsions: Studies Using Electric Birefringence
A water-in-oil microemulsion is a particular kind of stable colloidal system which can be visualized as water droplets suspended in oil with the surfactant molecules accumulated at the oil/water interface. In the case of ionic surfactants, such as Aerosol OT, it is assumed that the mobile counter-ions in the aqueous phase will be concentrated near the amphiphilic ions situated at the interface. These particular liquid structures display strong polarization when subjected to an electric field, as is shown by electric birefringence studies using Aerosol OT/Water/Isooctane solutions. An attempt is made to explain the mechanism by which it is possible to produce such strong electric polarization in water-in-oil microemulsions.
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