Alkanes on surfactant solutions can form three distinct phases at the air-solution interface, a liquid phase (L), a solid monolayer phase (S 1), and a hybrid bilayer phase (S2). Phase coexistence between any two, or all three, of these phases has been observed by Brewster angle microscopy of tetradecane, hexadecane, and their mixtures on solutions of tetradecyltrimethylammonium bromide. The morphologies of the domains depend on the competition between line tension and electrostatic interactions, which are essentially different depending on the pair of phases in contact. Domains of S1 in the L phase are long and thin; however, long, thin domains of L in an S1 phase are not stable but break up into a string of small circular domains. The bilayer S2 domains are always circular, owing to the dominance of line tension on the morphology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)