Polymeric Surfactants to Stabilise Emulsions

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Materials


In the last few decades, there is an increase in attraction of polymeric surfactants due to their interesting properties in selective solvents, which effects formation of self-assembled structures and rheological behaviors [1]. In addition to this, compared to traditional surfactants they provide greater opportunities due to their tailor-ability [2]. Therefore, due to these reasons they are used in variety of applications such as nanotechnology, pharmacology, coatings, cosmetics, pharmacology, enhanced oil recovery, optoelectronics and etc [1]. The most vital applications of polymeric surfactants are preparation of suspensions as well as oil-in-water (O/W) or water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions [3].

In this study, initially two families of amphiphilic diblock (AB, CB) copolymers based on poly (ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (PEGMA), 2-(dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) and ethyl methacrylate (EtMA) have been investigated as polymeric surfactants. Several polymeric characteristics such as molecular mass (MM), composition and chemistry have been varied in order observe how these characteristics affect the emulsifying properties of these polymeric surfactants. Furthermore, the effect of architecture on emulsifying properties of polymeric surfactants have been investigated using triblock copolymers (ABC) while MM and composition was same as with diblock copolymer series. Another amphiphilic copolymer series with complex architectures have been synthesised and more hydrophobic block (n-butyl methacrylate, BuMA) used in order to observe the effect on emulsifying properties. Polymeric surfactants have been synthesised using Group Transfer Polymerisation (GTP) method and their emulsifying properties have been characterised using various techniques.


1. P. Raffa, D.A.Z. Weaver, F. Picchioni and A.A. Broekhuis, Chem Rev. 115, 8504, (2015).
2. S. Liu and S. Armes, Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Sci. 6, 249, (2001).
3. T. Tadros, Adv Colloid Interface Sci. 147-148, 281, (2009).


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509486/1 30/09/2016 30/03/2022
2162310 Studentship EP/N509486/1 07/01/2017 07/03/2021 Birsen Somuncuoglu