Interfacial dating

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In particular, for polyacrylic acid, desorption from the interface can be triggered by increasing the p H of the water phase above 4.5 [17], demonstrating the potential for the control of polymer structures at oil-water interfaces.

As well as synthetic molecules, proteins and other biomolecules may adsorb onto liquid interfaces.

The adsorption of nanoparticles onto liquid interfaces has been used by a number of groups to create dense nanoparticle monolayers [13] and to create nanoparticle stabilised emulsions (colloidosomes) [14].

Due to the high adsorption strengths at liquid interfaces the motion of adsorbed molecules becomes essentially two-dimensional, leading to transport of properties that can be quite different to bulk solution.

For example, molecular recognition driven by hydrogen bonding can be orders of magnitude stronger at the air-water interface than in solution [2, 3], which may be exploited in the formation of ordered materials [4] or the operation of molecular machines at the air-water interface [5].

When additional species are added to the system, these may accumulate at the interface; this is exemplified by amphiphilic surfactants, the adsorption of which to interfaces can be used to modify interfacial properties, such as surface tension.

While the formation of dense nanoparticle structures on liquid interfaces has been demonstrated, the controlled formation of more complex structures is still a matter of much investigation.

The confinement of molecules to two dimensions can change the structures formed (compared to a fully three-dimensional system) and the different properties of the two liquid components can have a strong influence on the interaction between molecules confined to the interface between them.

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