When compressed in the intermediate temperature range below the chain-melting transition yet in the low-pressure liquid phase, Langmuir monolayers made of chiral lipid molecules form hierarchical structures. Using Brewster angle microscopy to reveal this structure, we found that as the liquid monolayer is compressed, an optically anisotropic condensed phase nucleates in the form of long, thin claws. These claws pack closely to form stripes. This appears to be a new mechanism for forming stripes in Langmuir monolayers. In the lower temperature range, these stripes arrange into spirals within overall circular domains, while near the chain-melting transition, the stripes arrange into target patterns. We attributed this transition to a change in boundary conditions at the core of the largest-scale circular domains. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics