Indexed on: 20 Nov '04Published on: 20 Nov '04Published in: The Journal of chemical physics
The surface phase behavior of condensed-phase domains formed during a first-order phase transition in Langmuir monolayers of diethylene glycol mono-n-hexadecyl ether at the air-water interface has been investigated by Brewster angle microscopy and polarization modulation infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (PM-IRRAS). A variety of two-dimensional (2D) structures are observed just after the appearance of the phase transition at different temperatures. At 10 and 15 degrees C, the domains are found to be small nuclei of irregular structures. Spiral structures are observed at 20 and 22 degrees C, while striplike structures at 24 degrees C. The spiral domains attain increasingly compact shape with increasing temperature, and finally become circular at >or=26 degrees C. Increases in temperature result in dehydration in the ethylene oxide chain, which increases the hydrophobicity, and impart to the molecules a longer-chain-like character. As a result line tension increases with increasing temperature, which probably outweighs the dipole-dipole repulsions showing circular domains at higher temperatures. The PM-IRRAS measurement reveals that the nu(as)(CH(2)) mode moves to lower wave numbers indicating that the LE-LC (liquid expanded-liquid condensed) phase transition during the compression of the monolayer involves changes in the conformational order of the molecules with a preferential increase in the planner trans zigzag conformation of the hydrocarbon chains. The nu(as)(CH(2)) mode in the LC region of the isotherm shows a constant value around 2917.8 cm(-1) indicating a stable state of the monolayer with an almost all-trans conformation of the hydrocarbon chains. The downward band at 1124 cm(-1) assigned to the nu(as)(C-O-C) mode indicates that the corresponding transition dipole moment is oriented perpendicular to the water surface.