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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Aug 15;101(7):076102. Epub 2008 Aug 14.

Structure and depletion at fluorocarbon and hydrocarbon/water liquid/liquid interfaces.

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  • 1Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60607, USA.


The results of x-ray reflectivity studies of two oil/water (liquid/liquid) interfaces are inconsistent with recent predictions of the presence of a vaporlike depletion region at hydrophobic/aqueous interfaces. One of the oils, perfluorohexane, is a fluorocarbon whose superhydrophobic interface with water provides a stringent test for the presence of a depletion layer. The other oil, heptane, is a hydrocarbon and, therefore, is more relevant to the study of biomolecular hydrophobicity. These results are consistent with the subangstrom proximity of water to soft hydrophobic materials.

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