Light Scattering by Oil-Water Interfaces
The use of light scattering techniques in the field of liquid interfaces has been developed recently.1 Contrary to most of the other scattering techniques (X-rays, neutrons, etc.) light scattering does not suffer from limitations due to low scattering cross sections. It also proved to be particularly useful when the more classical mechanical techniques also became limited: near critical points, in the presence of liquid crystal phases, or for soap films, polymer solutions, and monolayers on water. It is also particularly well-suited for the study of oil water interfaces of low interfacial tensions. These systems, recently discovered, are of great practical interest because they are the basis of several oil recovery processes. In these processes, the oil water interfacial tensions, typically of the order of 50 dyn/cm, are decreased to less than about 10-3 dyn/cm by adding small amounts of surfactant molecules.2 Although numerous groups have observed ultralow tensions and have worked out empirical rules for the selection of convenient mixtures for each reservoir, there is little basic understanding of how ultralow tensions arise.
KeywordsInterfacial Tension Continuous Phase Soap Film Middle Phase Liquid Crystal Phasis
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