We present a study of two-dimensional (2D) crystallites of cholesterol formed at the air-water interface. Grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXD) measurements performed along the surface pressure-area isotherm revealed a transition from a monolayer to a highly crystalline rectangular phase, about two layers thick. This variation in the film thickness was confirmed by ellipsometry measurements. Films transferred onto solid support by the Langmuir-Blodgett technique were seen by atomic force microscopy (AFM) to display elongated and faceted crystallites about 10 layers thick. The effect of the phospholipid dipalmitoylphos-phatidylcholine (DPPC) on the 2D crystallization of cholesterol was studied by GIXD and AFM with three cholesterol:DPPC mixtures in molar ratios 1:1, 2:1, and 5:1. The phospholipid additive reduced the crystallinity of the cholesterol in the 5:1 and 2:1 mixtures, totally suppressing it in the 1:1 mixture.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry