A density functional approach to nucleation in microemulsions

Talanquer, Vicente; Oxtoby, David W.
August 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 534 Issue 1, p398
Academic Journal
We develop a microscopic approach to nucleation in microemulsions based on density functional theory. Using a simple free energy functional to describe amphiphiles (consisting of fused hydrophilic and hydrophobic spheres) interacting with water molecules, we explore the phase diagram and calculate the free energies of small clusters of amphiphiles. Our calculation reveals the existence of stable micelles and vesicles, as well as the potential critical nuclei (free energy maxima) that occur along pathways to their formation.


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