Rheological and phase behaviour of amphiphilic lipids
Keywords:Amphiphilic lipids, Phase behaviour, Rheological behaviour
This chapter reviews the different association structures which are likely to be formed by amphiphilic lipids in the liquid-crystalline state and their corresponding shear flow properties. The structure and rheological behaviour of thermotropic liquid crystals, emphasizing the properties of smectic mesophases, and those of lyotropic liquid crystals such as: nematic, lamellar, diluted lamellar, lamellar dispersions, hexagonal and cubic mesophases are described. The importance of a comprehensive rheological characterisation, including rheo-optical techniques, is pointed out for their practical applications, development of formulations and as a useful technique to assist in the determination of phase diagrams. A historical approach has been used to discuss the evolving field of the rheology and structure identification of liquid crystals formed by amphiphilic lipids and surfactants. Non-Newtonian viscous shear flow, thixotropic and antithixotropic phenomena, linear viscoelastic properties -described by dynamic and creep compliance experiments- and non-linear viscoelastic properties - described by the difference of normal stresses and stress relaxation tests are interpreted on the basis of a microstructure-rheology relationship. The polycrystalline nature of liquid crystals turns out to be rather sensitive to shear due to the change of both size and orientation of the liquid-crystalline monodomains under flow.
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