Equation of state and adsorption dynamics of soft microgel particles at an air-water interface

Omkar Deshmukh, Armando Maestro, Michael H.G. Duits, Henricus T.M. van den Ende, Martinus Abraham Cohen Stuart, Friedrich Gunther Mugele

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Understanding the adsorption dynamics of soft microgel particles is a key step in designing such particles for potential applications as stimuli-responsive Pickering stabilizers for foams or emulsions. In this study we experimentally determine an equation of state (EOS) for poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) microgel particles adsorbed onto an air–water interface using a Langmuir film balance. We detect a finite surface pressure at very low surface concentration of particles, for which standard theories based on hard disk models predict negligible pressures, implying that the particles must deform strongly upon adsorption to the interface. Furthermore, we study the evolution of the surface pressure due to the adsorption of PNIPAM particles as a function of time using pendant drop tensiometry. The equation of state determined in the equilibrium measurements allows us to extract the adsorbed amount as a function of time. We find a mixed-kinetic adsorption that is initially controlled by the diffusion of particles towards the interface. At later stages, a slow exponential relaxation indicates the presence of a coverage-dependent adsorption barrier related to crowding of particles at the interface
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7045-7050
JournalSoft matter
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-308358
  • IR-93799


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