Structure of Langmuir-Blodgett Films of Disk-Shaped Molecules Determined by Atomic Force Microscopy

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Science  16 Apr 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5106, pp. 323-326
DOI: 10.1126/science.260.5106.323


Monolayer Langmuir-Blodgett films of a discotic mesogen have been studied with atomic force microscopy (AFM). These measurements confirm the "edge on" arrangement for the disk-shaped molecules suggested by surface pressure—area isotherms and show that the molecules form columns that are separated by 17.7 angstroms ± 10 percent. Column alignment is found to be predominantly along the film deposition direction, with an angular spread of 35°. The AFM images also show that the mean disk separation within the columns is 5.1 ± 1.3 angstroms, in good agreement with x-ray diffraction (XRD) results. Roomtemperature XRD measurements on bulk samples of the same material indicate a disordered-hexagonal liquid crystalline mesophase, with a column-to-column spacing of 19.9 ± 0.2 angstroms.