Freezing transition of Langmuir-Gibbs alkane films on water

E. Sloutskin, Z. Sapir, L. Tamam, B. M. Ocko, C. D. Bain, M. Deutsch

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22 Scopus citations


We show that adding CTAB (CTAB, hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide) in sub-millimolar bulk concentrations to water reduces its surface tension (ST) to a level where spontaneous surface spreading of a monolayer of medium-sized alkane (CnH2n+2, 12 ≤ n ≤ 17) occurs. ST and X-ray reflectivity (XR) measurements are used to show that the quasi two-dimensional (2D) liquid monolayer can be driven through a reversible surface freezing phase transition upon cooling. Grazing incidence diffraction (GID) shows that the frozen monolayer is crystalline, hexagonally packed, with surface-normal molecules, and a crystalline coherence length of at least a few hundred Å, very similar to the structure of surface-frozen (SF) monolayers at the surface of similar-length alkane melts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5664-5668
Number of pages5
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number14 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - 23 May 2007


  • Gibbs
  • Langmuir film
  • Surface freezing
  • X-ray reflectivity


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