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Langmuir. 2004 Mar 16;20(6):2261-4.

Lateral and vertical nanophase separation in Langmuir-Blodgett films of phospholipids and semifluorinated alkanes.

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  • 1Institut Charles Sadron (UPR CNRS 22), 67083 Strasbourg Cedex, France.


It has recently been found that monodisperse surface micelles (hemimicelles) were formed in Langmuir monolayers of the semifluorinated alkane C8F17C16H33 (F8H16) after transfer onto silicon wafers. Grazing incidence X-ray diffraction studies have demonstrated that compression of mixed Langmuir monolayers made from combinations of dipalmitoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (DPPE) and diblock F8H16 in various molar ratios resulted in the complete expulsion of the diblock molecule at high surface pressure. F8H16 then formed a second layer on top of a DPPE-only monolayer, demonstrating a novel type of reversible, pressure-induced, vertical phase separation. Using atomic force microscopy and X-ray reflectivity, we show now that mixed DPPE/F8H16 (1:1.3) Langmuir-Blodgett films transferred onto silicon wafers below 10 mN m(-1) are laterally phase separated and consist of domains of F8H16 surface micelles in coexistence with a monolayer of DPPE. The density of the network of F8H16 surface micelles increases when the surface pressure of transfer increases. Around 10 mN m(-1), the F8H16 surface micelles start to glide on the DPPE monolayer, progressively overlying it, until total coverage is achieved.

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