Ionic Liquid-in-Water Emulsions Stabilized by Molecular and Polymeric Surfactants

Samuel G. Birrer, Patrick Quinnan, Lauren D. Zarzar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Ionic liquids have drawn notable attention for their unique solvent properties and use in applications such as batteries and chemical separations. While many ionic liquids are water-soluble, there are numerous examples of ionic liquids that are sufficiently hydrophobic to remain phase separated from water. However, relatively little is known about the stability and properties of ionic liquid-in-water emulsions. Here, we survey a series of ionic liquid-in-water emulsions stabilized by a range of ionic and nonionic molecular surfactants and polymers. To assess droplet stability and dynamics, we characterize the ionic liquid-surfactant interfacial tension, describe qualitative coarsening rates, and quantify droplet solubilization rate. In some instances, we observe unexpected spontaneous formation of complex double and triple emulsions. Our observations highlight approaches for ionic liquid emulsion formulation and provide insight into how to address challenges surrounding stabilization of ionic liquid-in-water droplets with molecular surfactants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10795-10805
Number of pages11
Issue number31
StatePublished - Aug 8 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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