J. Phys. I France
Volume 6, Numéro 7, July 1996
Page(s) 969 - 980
DOI: 10.1051/jp1:1996110
J. Phys. I France 6 (1996) 969-980

Layering Transitions and Reentrant-Like Phenomenon in Thin Films of Three-Block Organosiloxane Smectogens at the Air/Water Interface

M. Ibn-Elhaj, H. Riegler and H. Möhwald

Max-Plank-Institute for Colloids and Interfaces, Rudower Chaussee 5, 12489 Berlin, Germany

(Received 3 January 1996, received in final form 11 March 1996, accepted 18 March 1996)

The surface pressure induced layering transition of three-block amphiphilic smectogens at the air/water interface is observed and characterized by film balance measurements, Brewster angle microscopy and X-ray reflectivity. Since the systems possess a fluid smectic A bulk phase the transition is reversible with little hysteresis and occurs layer by layer. Wheareas the monolayer at the air/water interface exhibits polar smectic C-like order the multilayer is in a smectic A arrangement equivalent to that in bulk. The reentrant-like transition can be ascribed to a loss of order of water surrounding the hydrophilic head when removing molecules from the water surface. The thickness uniformity and stability may be ascribed to the line tension related to a domain boundary and to long-range van der Waals forces between interfaces. The mono-as well as multilayers can be transferred onto solid substrate apparently without any major structural changes.

© Les Editions de Physiques 1996