Quantitative characterization of the viscosity of a microemulsion
Robert F. Berg, Michael R. Moldover, John S. Huang
We have measured the viscosity of the three-component microemulsion water/decane/ AOT as a function of temperature and droplet volume fraction. At temperatures well below the phaseseparation temperature the viscosity is described by treating the droplets as hard spheres suspended in decane. Upon approaching the two-phase region from low temperature, there is a large (as much as a factor of 4) smooth increase of the viscosity which may be related to the percolation-like transition observed in the electrical conductivity. This increase in viscosity is not completely consistent with either a naive electroviscous model or a simple clustering model. The divergence of the viscosity near the critical point (39 C) is superimposed upon the smooth increase. The magnitude and temperature dependence of the critical divergence are similar to that seen near the critical points of binary liquid mixtures.