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Structure of a Langmuir Film on a Liquid Metal Surface

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Science  15 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5597, pp. 1404-1407
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078372

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Abstract

The structure of organic monolayers on liquid surfaces depends sensitively on the details of the molecular interactions. The structure of a stearic acid film on a mercury surface was measured as a function of coverage with angstrom resolution. Unlike monolayers on water, the molecules were found here to undergo a transition from surface-parallel to surface-normal orientation with increasing coverage. At high coverage, two condensed hexatic phases of standing-up molecules were found. At low coverage, a two-dimensional (2D) gas phase and condensed single- and double-layered phases of flat-lying molecular dimers were revealed, exhibiting a 1D longitudinal positional order. This system should provide a broader tunability range for nanostructure construction than solid-supported self-assembled monolayers.

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