pH-Responsive Emulsions with Supramolecularly Assembled Shells Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018 American Chemical Society. Herein, we describe a novel and simple pH-switchable oil-in-water emulsion system prepared by intermolecular assembly of an amino-amide and a trace amount of citric acid. The resultant supramolecular complex, which demonstrated highly pH-responsive properties, was characterized with various techniques, including attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy, zeta potential, dynamic light scattering (DLS), surface tension, and interfacial tension. The switchable cyles between emulsification-demulsification states via adjusting the pH through the addition of acid or base were demonstrated with several types of oils. While emulsion was very stable at a pH of 2.2; a rapid phase separation was observed at and above pH of 5.5. Upon adjusting pH back to 2.2, stable emulsion could be re-assembled via dynamic intermolecular interactions. Such pH-triggered emulsification and demulsification cycles could be switched at least five times. The intriguing properties of these pH-switchable emulsions indicate their potential in several industrial applications such as enhanced oil recovery and cosmetics industry.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Hao, L. i., Yegin, C., Chen, I., Oh, J. K., Liu, S., Scholar, E., ... Jiang, B.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Hao, Li||Yegin, Cengiz||Chen, I-Cheng||Oh, Jun Kyun||Liu, Shuhao||Scholar, Ethan||Zhang, Luhong||Akbulut, Mustafa||Jiang, Bin

publication date

  • July 2018