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Langmuir. 2019 Jul 23;35(29):9343-9351. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b00660. Epub 2019 Jul 10.

Biphasic Formation of 2D Nanomembranes by Photopolymerization of Diacetylene Lipids as Revealed by Infrared Difference Spectroscopy.

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Physical and Biophysical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry , Bielefeld University , Universitaetsstr. 25 , 33615 Bielefeld , Germany.
Experimental Biophysics and Applied Nanoscience, Department of Physics , Bielefeld University , Universitaetsstr. 25 , 33615 Bielefeld , Germany.


Two-dimensional nanomembranes are promising materials for filtration or separation by providing the basis for controlled and rapid transport between two compartments. The polymerization by UV light of diacetylene-containing lipids at an interface produces free-standing 2D nanomembranes. Here, we analyzed in situ the nanomembrane formation of 1,2-bis(10,12-tricosadiynoyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DiynePC) and 1-palmitoyl-2-(10,12-tricosadiynoyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (PTPE) on germanium using light-induced infrared difference spectroscopy with attenuated total reflection to obtain insights into the kinetics and mechanism of the polymerization process. Our interpretation is supported by atomic force microscopy and density functional theory. Formation of the polymer network is evidenced by changes in the frequency of C═O stretches acting as infrared probes. However, spectral and kinetic analysis revealed a biphasic process in the monolayer. In both phases, losses in signal of CH2 stretches are observed which are not in agreement with the accepted mechanism of chain propagation for diacetylene polymerization. These signals are dominant in the second phase and are assigned to termination reactions with some contributions from intramolecular consecutive reactions. This finding now provides a spectroscopic measure for the identity and integrity of the nanomembrane complementary to microscopic analysis. We deduce that limited 2D mobility on the solid support promotes intramolecular termination, leading to smaller domains.

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