Polymers and surfactants at fluid interfaces studied with specular neutron reflectometry

Larissa Braun, Martin Uhlig, Regine von Klitzing, Richard A. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This review addresses the advances made with specular neutron reflectometry in studies of aqueous mixtures of polymers and surfactants at fluid interfaces during the last decade (or so). The increase in neutron flux due to improvements in instrumentation has led to routine measurements at the air/water interface that are faster and involve samples with lower isotopic contrast than in previous experiments. One can now resolve the surface excess of a single deuterated component on the second time scale and the composition of a mixture on the minute time scale, and information about adsorption processes and dynamic rheology can also be accessed. Research areas addressed include the types of formed equilibrium surface structures, the link to foam film stability and the range of non-equilibrium effects that dominate the behavior of oppositely charged polyelectrolyte/surfactant mixtures, macroscopic film formation in like-charged polymer/surfactant mixtures, and the properties of mixtures of bio-polymers with surfactants and lipids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-148
Number of pages19
JournalAdvances in Colloid and Interface Science
Early online date12 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Fluid Interfaces
  • Neutron reflectometry
  • Polyelectrolytes
  • Polymers
  • Surfactants


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