Motional Coherence in Fluid Phospholipid Membranes
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We report a high energy-resolution neutron backscattering study, combined with in situ diffraction, to investigate slow molecular motions on nanosecond time scales in the fluid phase of phospholipid bilayers of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phoshatidylcholine. A cooperative structural relaxation process was observed. From the in-plane scattering vector dependence of the relaxation rates in hydrogenated and deuterated samples, combined with results from a 0.1 micros long all-atom molecular dynamics simulation, it is concluded that correlated dynamics in lipid membranes occurs over several lipid distances, spanning a time interval from pico- to nanoseconds.
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