To determine how coexistence of liquid-expanded (LE) and tilted-condensed (TC) phases in phospholipid monolayers affects collapse from the air/water interface, we studied binary films containing dioleoyl phosphatidylcholine- dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) mixtures between 10 and 100% DPPC. Previously published results established that this range of compositions represents the LE-TC coexistence region at the equilibrium spreading pressure of 47 mN/m. When held at 49.5 mN/m on a captive bubble, the extent of total collapse fit with the LE area predicted by the phase diagram. The kinetics of collapse, however, when normalized for changes in the LE area, slowed with increasing mole fraction of DPPC. Surface area expressed as stretched exponential functions of time yielded an Avrami exponent that decreased from 1 for the homogeneously LE film to 0.3 for DPPC ≥ 70%. Microscopic studies showed that the largest changes in kinetics occurred when either alterations of the initial composition or the process of collapse induced the films to cross the percolation threshold, so that the LE phase became divided into isolated domains. Our results show that although coexisting solid and fluid phases collapse to extents that are independent, the kinetics of collapse, corrected for differences in LE area, depend on the distribution of the two phases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry