Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Chemical and Life Science Engineering

First Advisor

James K Ferri

Second Advisor

Michael Peters

Third Advisor

Ben Tansi


Conventional approaches for studying emulsions, such as microscopy and macroscopic phase tracking, present challenges when it comes to establishing detailed mechanistic descriptions of the impact of emulsifier and stabilizer additives. Additionally, while a combination of sizing methods and macroscopic phase tracking can provide insights into droplet size changes and concentration, the use of multiple measurements can be cumbersome and error-prone. It is the focus of this work, to present a new method for studying water in oil (W/O) emulsions that involves using diffusing wave spectroscopy (DWS) to examine the impact of three different surface stabilizing additives at varying concentrations. By monitoring changes in the transport mean free path length ($l^*$) it is demonstrated that a single DWS measurement provides similar insights to traditional methods. In addition to revealing physical dynamics inaccessible through conventional techniques. Nine specific additives were analyzed and detailed characterization and classification with relation to mechanisms of destabilization are detailed, and provide useful in improving formulations. The wealth of information provided by DWS measurements suggests that it could be useful in developing formulations tailored to specific use cases, rather than just in fundamental research.


© Jordan Nowaczyk

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