J. Phys. II France
Volume 2, Numéro 7, July 1992
|Page(s)||1439 - 1451|
J. Phys. II France 2 (1992) 1439-1451
Vesicles and onion phases in dilute surfactant solutionsB. D. Simons and M. E. Cates
Cavendish Laboratory, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HE, G.B.
(Received 25 February 1992, accepted 8 April 1992)
We study theoretically the stability of phases of unilamellar and multilamellar vesicles in bilayer-forming surfactant solutions. It is argued that these are likely to arise, instead of a bicontinuous "sponge" phase, when the elastic constants of the bilayer are chosen so that the curvature energy of a sphere is small. At very low volume fractions we predict a phase of noninteracting vesicles; as the concentration is increased these reach an overlap threshold, beyond which "nesting" can occur, giving a multilamellar vesicle or "onion" phase. At higher concentration still, a transition to the smectic (L ) phase is predicted. This transition may be rather weak if the mean curvature rigidity is small. The relevance of our results to recent experimental work is briefly discussed.
64.70J - 64.70M - 82.60L
© Les Editions de Physique 1992