Unifying interfacial self-assembly and surface freezing

B. M. Ocko*, H. Hlaing, P. N. Jepsen, S. Kewalramani, A. Tkachenko, D. Pontoni, H. Reichert, M. Deutsch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


X-ray investigations reveal that the monolayers formed at the bulk alkanol-sapphire interface are densely packed with the surface-normal molecules hydrogen bound to the sapphire. About 30-35°C above the bulk, these monolayers both melt reversibly and partially desorb. This system exhibits balanced intermolecular and molecule-substrate interactions which are intermediate between self-assembled and surface-frozen monolayers, each dominated by one interaction. The phase behavior is rationalized within a thermodynamic model comprising interfacial interactions, elasticity, and entropic effects. Separating the substrate from the melt leaves the monolayer structurally intact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number137801
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 30 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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