Indexed on: 30 May '14Published on: 30 May '14Published in: Soft Matter
Highly ordered silica was synthesised by using a lamellar phase comprising the anionic fluorinated surfactant sodium perfluorooctanoate and the partially-fluorinated co-surfactant/oil 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctan-1-ol in water. The phase behaviour of this system was thoroughly analysed, and it was found that even low levels of the alcohol (<0.5 mol%) were sufficient to induce a phase change from normal micelles to a lamellar phase, rationalised as a result of geometric and electrostatic effects. The properties of these phases were compared to their hydrocarbon analogues, demonstrating the unique and valuable properties exhibited by fluorocarbons, directly related with the observed nanostructure. Small-angle neutron scattering was used to analyse the internal structure of the systems, providing information on the inter-lamellar spacing, bilayer thickness and membrane elasticity. The potential for these phases to act as shear-thinning lubricants was assessed using oscillatory rheology, obtaining shear-dependent viscosity along with storage and loss moduli.