Coalescence behavior of oil droplets coated in irreversibly-adsorbed surfactant layers

Matthew D. Reichert, Lynn M. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Coalescence between oil caps with irreversibly adsorbed layers of nonionic surfactant is characterized in deionized water and electrolyte solution. The coalescence is characterized using a modified capillary tensiometer allowing for accurate measurement of the coalescence time. Results suggest two types of coalescence behavior, fast coalescence at low surface coverages that are independent of ionic strength and slow coalescence at high coverage. These slow coalescence events (orders of magnitude slower) are argued to be due to electric double layer forces or more complicated stabilization mechanisms arising from interfacial deformation and surface forces. A simple film drainage model is used in combination with measured values for interfacial properties to quantify the interaction potential between the two interfaces. Since this approach allows the two caps to have the same history, interfacial coverage and curvature, the results offer a tool to better understand a mechanism that is important to emulsion stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-487
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this work was provided by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) through the Consortium for Molecular Engineering of Dispersant Systems (CMEDS). Thanks to Stephanie Kirby, Shelley Anna and Anthony Kotula for assistance and discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • Coalescence
  • Emulsion
  • Film drainage
  • Interfacial rheology
  • Tween


Dive into the research topics of 'Coalescence behavior of oil droplets coated in irreversibly-adsorbed surfactant layers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this