Amphiphilicity-adaptable graphene quantum dots to stabilize pH-responsive pickering emulsions at a very low concentration
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HypothesisStimuli-responsive Pickering emulsions have attracted considerable interest due to their widespread potential applications. Especially pH-responsive behavior could be easily implemented. In this work, we reported a pH-responsive Pickering emulsion based on amphiphilic graphene quantum dots at a low concentration which shows a great potential from the environmental and economic perspective. The stimuli responsive properties would make the smart Pickering emulsifiers recyclable and reusable.
ExperimentsThe amphiphilic-adaptable graphene quantum dots functionalized by alkyl groups (C-GQDs) were synthesized by a facile one-step pyrolysis method. The pH-responsive emulsion performances were investigated, and the mechanism of pH-responsive of C-GQDs was studied by dynamic light scattering.
FindingsThe amphiphilicity of C-GQDs could be acquired controllably and effectively by this facile one-step pyrolysis method, which are able to stabilize Pickering emulsion at a very low concentration (0.001%). The amphiphilicity of C-GQDs are capable of changing in response to environmental stimuli. When the pH value of aqueous solution adjusts to 2, these C-GQDs aggregate in contrast to their stability in neutral condition due to the alternation of surface charges. The pH-responsive aggregation/ dispersion behavior of C-GQDs allows us to tune the interactions between oil-in-water emulsion droplets without introduction of destabilization agents. This will provide huge economic benefits in industrial applications in the future.
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
author list (cited authors)
Ma, R., Zeng, M., Huang, D., Wang, J., Cheng, Z., & Wang, Q
complete list of authors
Ma, Rong||Zeng, Minxiang||Huang, Dali||Wang, Jenny||Cheng, Zhengdong||Wang, Qingsheng