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Physical Chemistry

Lund University

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Polymer-surfactant interaction at liquid interface

The project aims to understanding of the nature of the interaction between polyelectrolytes and oppositely charged surfactants at interfaces in relation to the bulk phase, with particular attention to non-equilibrium effects. We study polyelectrolyte systems of relevance for commercial products such as shampoos and fabric conditioners, but also model systems such at cationic dendrimers and anionic surfactants. We have demonstrated that the choice of sample preparation methods can have a profound effect on the state of the interface for chemically equivalent samples. This is particularly apparent in the phase separation region, where the extent of aggregation in the bulk solution on relevant time scales is affected by the polymer/surfactant mixing process, which in turn the structure and composition of the interfacial layer. The studies include experimental studies using ellipsometry, QCM-D, neutron reflectometry and light scattering as well as theoretical modeling.

People: Marianna Yanez, Tommy NylanderLennart Piculell, Per Linse, Richard Campbell (ILL, France), Katrin Tonigold (Ulm University), Imre Varga and Róbert Mészáros (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest; Hungary).

Contact person: Tommy Nylander