Reeves, Matthew; Stratford, Kevin; Thijssen, Job. (2016). Quantitative morphological characterization of bicontinuous Pickering emulsions via interfacial curvatures, [dataset]. University of Edinburgh, School of Physics and Astronomy, Institute of Condensed Matter and Complex Systems. http://dx.doi.org/10.7488/ds/1360.
Bicontinuous Pickering emulsions (bijels) are a physically interesting class of soft materials with many potential applications including catalysis, microfluidics and tissue engineering. They are created by arresting the spinodal decomposition of a partially-miscible liquid with a (jammed) layer of interfacial colloids. Porosity L (average interfacial separation) of the bijel is controlled by varying the radius (r) and volume fraction (f) of the colloids (L ~ r/f). However, to optimize the bijel structure with respect to other parameters, e.g. quench rate, characterizing by L alone is insufficient. Hence, we have used confocal microscopy and X-ray CT to characterize a range of bijels in terms of local and area-averaged interfacial curvatures; we further demonstrate that bijels are bicontinuous using an image-analysis technique known as `region growing'. In addition, the curvatures of bijels have been monitored as a function of time, which has revealed an intriguing evolution up to 60 minutes after bijel formation, contrary to previous understanding.