Origin of middle-phase microemulsions

S. A. Safran*, D. Roux, M. E. Cates, D. Andelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A simple model is used to calculate the phase behavior of microemulsions. The surfactant film at the oil-water interface is treated as an incompressible layer whose bending constant is renormalized by thermal fluctuations. Two- and three-phase equilibria involving upper-, lower-, and middle-phase microemulsions are found. The structure of the middle phase is characterized by the persistence length of the film, beyond which the bending constant is renormalized to smaller values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-494
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


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