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Langmuir. 2012 Sep 4;28(35):12691-5. doi: 10.1021/la301671a. Epub 2012 Aug 21.

Molecular layer of gaslike domains at a hydrophobic-water interface observed by frequency-modulation atomic force microscopy.

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  • 1Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei 115, Taiwan.


It was numerically predicted that dissolved gas particles could enrich and adsorb at hydrophobic-liquid interfaces. Here we observe nucleation and growth of bright patches of ∼0.45 nm high on the graphite surface in pure water with frequency-modulation atomic force microscopy when the dissolved gas concentration is below the saturation level. The bright patches, suspected to be caused by adsorption of nitrogen molecules at the graphite-water interface, are composed of domains of a rowlike structure with the row separation of 4.2 ± 0.3 nm. The observation of this ordered adlayer might underline the gas segregation at various water interfaces.

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