Traditional, surfactant based emulsions have applications in the food, cosmetic, encapsulation and materials industries. The majority of the surfactants that are currently in use are based on lipids that are extracted from natural sources, however, other surfactants, based on polypeptides, copolymers and solid particles (Pickering emulsions)are also used. The process by which traditional amphiphilic surfactants stabilize biphasic mixtures by interfacial assembly and the consequent reduction of surface tension is well understood. Although these surfactants are well-suited to stabilize emulsions, they are not always biocompatible or biodegradable. In addition, they may not have sufficient stability at elevated temperatures or extremes of pH, which can limit their utility in a variety of applications. Therefore, it is desirable to identify a class of surfactants that can be tuned, or tailored, to match the application for which they are used.
- self assembly