Selective solvation effects in phase separation in aqueous mixtures

Akira Onuki, Ryuichi Okamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Selective solvation can be crucial in phase separation in polar binary mixtures (water-oil) with a small amount of hydrophilic ions or hydrophobic particles. They are preferentially attracted to one of the solvent components, leading to a number of intriguing effects coupled to phase separation. For example, if cations and anions interact differently with the two components, an electric double layer emerges at a liquid-liquid interface. The main aim of this paper is to show that a strongly hydrophilic (hydrophobic) solute induces precipitation of water-rich (oil-rich) domains above a critical solute density n p outside the solvent coexistence curve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-533
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Phase separation
  • Precipitation
  • Selective solvation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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