Stripes of partially fluorinated alkyl chains: Dipolar Langmuir monolayers

Matthias F. Schneider*, David Andelman, Motomu Tanaka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Stripelike domains of Langmuir monolayers formed by surfactants with partially fluorinated lipid anchors (F-alkyl lipids) are observed at the gas-liquid phase coexistence. The average periodicity of the stripes, measured by fluorescence microscopy, is in the micrometer range, varying between 2 and 8 μm. The observed stripelike patterns are stabilized due to dipole-dipole interactions between terminal- CF 3 groups. These interactions are particularly strong as compared with nonfluorinated lipids due to the low dielectric constant of the surrounding media (air). These long-range dipolar interactions tend to elongate the domains, in contrast to the line tension that tends to minimize the length of the domain boundary. This behavior should be compared with that of the lipid monolayer having alkyl chains, and which form spherical microdomains (bubbles) at the gas-liquid coexistence. The measured stripe periodicity agrees quantitatively with a theoretical model. Moreover, the reduction in line tension by adding traces (0.1 mol %) of cholesterol results, as expected, in a decrease in the domain periodicity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094717
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2005


FundersFunder number
Bloom's Syndrome Foundation287∕02
Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung
Verband der Chemischen Industrie
Iowa Science Foundation210∕01
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft259
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation
Israel Science Foundation


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