Near-surface structure of a bicontinuous microemulsion with a transition region
The lamellar ordering of bicontinuous microemulsions adjacent to a planar hydrophilic wall is investigated experimentally by grazing-incidence small-angle neutron scattering and theoretically by computer simulations. It is shown that precise depth information in neutron scattering can be obtained by tuning the scattering length density of the overall microemulsion. Neutron reflectometry completes the characterization. The nucleation of a lamellar phase at thewall is observed, and a perforated lamellar transition region is identified at the lamellar-microemulsion interface. The thickness of the lamellar region is about 400 angstrom, which corresponds to two bilayers.