A new surface phase in liquid normal-alkanes

X. Z. Wu, B. M. Ocko, E. B. Sirota, S. K. Sinha, M. Deutsch

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A new surface phase is found in liquid normal-alkanes. X-ray and surface tension measurements show the formation of a crystalline monolayer on the surface of the liquid at temperatures up to 3°C above the bulk solidification temperature, Tf. The molecules in the monolayer are hexagonally packed and oriented normal to the surface. A single solid monolayer persists down to Tf, thus exhibiting a very limited partial wetting. The new surface phase is obtained only for chain lengths 14<n≤50. Its vanishing for n≤14 is interpreted as a possible transition from surface freezing to surface melting behaviour. The measurements are satisfactory accounted for within a simple theory based on surface energy cosiderations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-758
Number of pages8
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 15 Nov 1993

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Helpful discussionsw ith and help of M.W. Kim and B.H. Cao are gratefully acknowledged.M .D.‘s work is supportedb y the US-Israel Binational Foundation, Jerusalem. Brookhaven National Laboratory is supportedb y the Division of Materials Research, US Department of Energy under contract No. DE-AC02-76CH00016.


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