EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G065705/1
Title: Spontaneous multilayer formation at interfaces from self-assembly of mixed surfactant and polymer/surfactant mixtures
Principal Investigator: Penfold, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Thomas, Dr RK
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: ISIS Pulsed Neutron & Muon Source
Organisation: STFC Laboratories (Grouped)
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2009 Ends: 31 March 2013 Value (£): 386,619
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Chemical Structure
Complex fluids & soft solids
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
10 Mar 2009 Chemistry Prioritisation Panel March Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Until relatively recently the formation of multilayer structures at surfaces and interfaces from self-assembling systems was rarely observed. This was in part due to a lack of suitable experimental tools to probe such surface structures. They are being increasingly recognised as an important structural signature associated with a wide range of technological applications and biological functions. There is now some preliminary experimental evidence that an increasing range of different systems can be manipulated to form or will spontaneously form multilayer structures at interfaces; including lipids, surfactants, mixed surfactants, polyelectrolytes, and polyelectrolyte / surfactant mixtures. Such structures have important implications in many aspects of lubrication, such as in fabric and hair conditioners, and in bio-lubrication in general. Although the criteria for the formation of lamellar type structures in bulk solution are well-established, the major factors controlling their formation at surfaces and interfaces are not understood and have not been extensively investigated. We propose here to use primarily neutron scattering techniques (specular and off-specular reflectivity, in combination with H/D isotopic substitution) to investigate the nature of the multilayer structures at the air-solution, solid-liquid and liquid-liquid interfaces, in surfactants and surfactant mixtures and in polymer / surfactant mixtures, in order to establish the key factors that determine multilayer formation, and to provide a theoretical link to the associated surface tension and wetting properties, and the kinetics of formation / dissolution. It is expected that this research programme will provide new understandings relating to biological function and to developments of new products associated with soft lubrication and efficient controlled delivery of benefit agents to interfaces.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: