Observation of surface layering in a nonmetallic liquid

Haiding Mo*, Guennadi Evmenenko, Sumit Kewalramani, Kyungil Kim, Steven N. Ehrlich, Pulak Dutta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Oscillatory density profiles (layers) have previously been observed at the free surfaces of liquid metals but not in other isotropic liquids. We have used x-ray reflectivity to study a molecular liquid, tetrakis(2-ethylhexoxy)silane. When cooled to T/Tc ≈ 0.25 (well above the freezing point for this liquid), density oscillations appear at the surface. Lateral order within the layers is liquidlike. Our results confirm theoretical predictions that a surface-layered state will appear even in dielectric liquids at sufficiently low temperatures, if not preempted by freezing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number096107
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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