Investigating liquid surfaces down to the nanometer scale using grazing incidence X-ray scattering Academic Article uri icon

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  • Grazing incidence x-ray surface scattering has been used to investigate liquid surfaces down to the molecular scale. The free surface of water is well described by the capillary wave model ( ~ q-2 spectrum) up to wavevectors > 10^8 m^-1. At larger wavevectors near-surface acoustic waves must be taken into account. When the interface is bounded by a surfactant monolayer, it exhibits a bending stiffness and the bending rigidity modulus can be measured. However, bending effects generally cannot be described using the Helfrich Hamiltonian and the characteristic exponent in the roughness power spectrum can smaller than 4. Finally, upon compression, tethered monolayers formed on a subphase containing divalent ions are shown to buckle in the third dimension with a characteristic wavelength on the order of 10^8 m^-1.


  • Fradin, Cecile
  • Braslau, A
  • Luzet, D
  • Alba, M
  • Gourier, C
  • Daillant, J
  • Grübel, G
  • Vignaud, G
  • Legrand, JF
  • Lal, J
  • Petit, JM
  • Rieutord, F

publication date

  • June 1998