Transformation diagrams for the collapse of a phospholipid monolayer

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15 Scopus citations


The kinetics of phase transitions in three-dimensional bulk materials are commonly presented in transformation diagrams. Time-temperature transformation (TTT) and continuous-cooling-transformation (CCT) diagrams plot the time required to transform specific fractions of the material to the new phase by cooling below a transition temperature. Transformation occurs isothermally for the TTT diagrams and during continuous cooling through a range of temperatures for CCT curves. Here we present analogous transformation diagrams for two-dimensional monolayers, which collapse at the equilibrium spreading pressure (π e) to form a three-dimensional bulk phase. Time-surface pressure-transformation (TπT) diagrams give the time required for specific fractions of the film to collapse when surface pressure is constant, and continuous-compression-transformation diagrams give the same information when surface pressure varies continuously. The diagrams, constructed here from previously reported data for 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl phosphatidylcholine, provide insights into the behavior of the films. The TπT diagrams successfully predict the existence and approximate magnitude of a threshold rate for compressing the films to high surface pressures above π e and the approximate shape of isotherms obtained with different rates of interfacial compression. The diagrams also caution that the behavior of mixed monolayers, explained previously in terms of compositional changes, can instead result from collapse that varies with surface pressure. Finally, the similarity between the shapes of the TTT and TπT diagrams, with the time for transformation passing through a minimum and then increasing as the systems deviate further from equilibrium, suggests that analogous mechanisms determine the behavior of both systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10100-10106
Number of pages7
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 9 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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