J. Phys. II France
Volume 3, Numéro 8, August 1993
Page(s) 1279 - 1288
DOI: 10.1051/jp2:1993198
J. Phys. II France 3 (1993) 1279-1288

On the application of polymer renormalization group theory to polymer-like microemulsions

Peter Schurtenberger and Carolina Cavaco

Institut für Polymere, ETH Zentrum, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland

(Received 26 February 1993, accepted in final form 26 April 1993)

We report on the application of results from conformation space renormalization group theory for semi-dilute polymer solutions to "equilibrium polymers" such as worm-like micelles or microemulsions. We have tested this approach with data from an extensive static light scattering study of lecithin water-in-oil (w/o) microemulsions. We demonstrate that one can construct a universal curve $(M_{\rm w}/RT)(\partial\Pi/\partial c)$ versus a reduced concentration $X\sim c/c^{*}$, where c* is the overlap concentration, from the experimentally determined values of the osmotic compressibility if a power law of the form $M_{\rm w}\sim c^{\alpha}$ for the c-dependence of the average particle size is assumed. We show that one can thus obtain information from static light scattering experiments on the concentration dependence of both the micellar size distribution and the intermicellar interaction effects, i.e., on the weight average molecular weight $M_{\rm w}(c)$ and the static structure factor S(0, c).

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