OCCIAM, Department of Applied Maths, University of Oxford

Peter Howell, Chris Breward

Neutron reflectometry has shown that the structure of adsorbed layers at wet interfaces may be quite complex. In mixtures of surfactants, surfactants and polymers, and even in some single surfactants, there may be layered structure at the interface and this can have important consequences for the thermodynamic behaviour and more particularly for the dynamic behaviour of the interface. Peter Howell and Chris Breward specialize in the mathematical modelling of these phenomena. The highlight of this collaboration is the quantitative model of the interfacial behaviour of polyelectrolyte-surfactant mixtures based on mass action and the Langmuir isotherm created by Dr Chris Bell and his coworkers at OCCIAM. This is described in detail under Polymer surfactant interactions and published in Macroscopic modeling of the surface tension of polymer-surfactant systems, Bell, Breward, Howell, Penfold, Thomas, Langmuir, 23, 6042-6052 (2007)

Peter Howell's and Chris Breward' website is at http://www2.maths.ox.ac.uk/ociam/research/industry/foam.shtml