Microscopic measurement of the linear compressibilities of two-dimensional fatty acid mesophases Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The linear compressibility of two-dimensional fatty acid mesophases has determined by grazing incidence x-ray diffraction. Surface pressure vs molecular area isotherms were reconstructed from these measurements, and the linear compressibility (relative distortion along a given direction for isotropic applied stress) was determined both in the sample plane and in a plane normal to the aliphatic chain director (transverse plane). The linear compressibilities range over two orders of magnitude from 0.1 to 10 m/N and are distributed depending on their magnitude in 4 different sets which we are able to associate with different molecular mechanisms. The largest compressibilities (10m/N) are observed in the tilted phases. They are apparently independent of the chain length and could be related to the reorganization of the headgroup hydrogen-bounded network, whose role should be revalued. Intermediate compressibilities are observed in phases with quasi long-range order (directions normal to the molecular tilt in L_2 or L_2' phases, S phase), and could be related to the ordering of these phases. The lowest compressibilities are observed in the solid untilted CS phase and for 1 direction of the S and L_2'' phases. They are similar to the compressibility of crystalline polymers and correspond to the interactions between methyl groups in the crystal. Finally, negative compressibilities are observed in the transverse plane for L_2' and L_2'' phases and can be traced to subtle reorganizations upon untilting.

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publication date

  • January 1998