Crystallinity of the Double Layer of Cadmium Arachidate Films at the Water Surface

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Science  14 Jun 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5012, pp. 1532-1536
DOI: 10.1126/science.252.5012.1532


A crystalline counterionic layer at the interface between an electrolyte solution and a charged layer of insoluble amphiphilic molecules was observed with grazing incidence synchrotron x-ray diffraction. Uncompressed arachidic films spread over 10–3 molar cadmium chloride solution (pH 8.8) spontaneously form crystalline clusters with coherence lengths of ∼1000 angstroms at 9°C. Ten distinct diffraction peaks were observed, seven of which were attributed to scattering only from a crystalline Cd2+ layer and the other three to scattering primarily from the arachidate layer. The reflections from the Cd2+ layer were indexed according to a 2 x 3 supercell of the arachidate lattice with three Cd2+ ions per cadmium unit cell.