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Particle Size and Frequency Dependent Folding in Langmuir Monolayers

  • Author(s): Eaton, Jeremy Martin
  • Advisor(s): Dennin, Michael
  • et al.

Langmuir monolayers, single molecule-thick rafts of surfactant molecules at the air-water

interface, are of great interest due to their similarity to the surfactant system present in the lung. These monolayers are compressed and expanded between two Teflon barriers in order to change the surface pressure of the system. The effects of reduced subphase depth, particle size, and compression frequency on the folding dynamics of Survanta and SDS-DODAB monolayers are observed. A monolayer of Survanta, a bovine lung surfactant is deposited on the surface of an aqueous buffer solution to test the effects of depth on the system. The depth is altered by placing a polydimethylsiloxane substrate at the bottom of the monolayer trough. The presence of this substrate is found to shift surface pressure-area isotherms toward regions of lower area by an average value of 8.9 mN/m. Fluoresecent polystrene micro- and nanoparticles are used to test the effects of particle size on SDS-DODAB monolayers. A phase diagram was generated showing the reversibility behavior of the monolayer under various conditions of compression speed and particle size. Particle diameters of 100 and 500 nm were generally observed to result in irreversible folding behavior at sufficiently low barrier speeds. At barrier speeds of 90 cm2/min, all particle sizes were observed to transition to reversible folding.

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