Monitoring the nucleation of crystalline films of cholesterol on water and in the presence of phospholipid

Sylvaine Lafont, Hanna Rapaport, Giora J. Somjen, Anne Renault, Paul B. Howes, Kristian Kjaer, Jens Als-Nielsen, Leslie Leiserowitz, Meir Lahav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)761-765
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number5
StatePublished - 29 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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