Molecular Dynamics Simulation Insight into Interfacial Stability and Fluidity Properties of Microemulsions

Although the interfacial properties of microemulsions have been extensively studied in both experimental and simulation research studies, the molecular mechanisms of stability and fluidity about microemulsion are still poorly understood. Herein, we report a molecular dynamics simulation study to elaborate the motion of an emulsion droplet involving dichain surfactant Aerosol OT (AOT) and its dynamics evolution at the oil–water interface. By varying the concentrations of AOT, we show that the interfacial thickness and emulsification rate display a piecewise change as the interfacial coverage increases and the W/O emulsion is more stable than the O/W one while O/W emulsion presents better fluidity. In addition, the dispersed system combined with water/AOT/n-heptane tends to form a W/O microemulsion instead of an O/W microemulsion due to the structural collapse of the latter. This work provides a molecular understanding of microemulsion interfacial stability and fluidity.