Sum-frequency spectroscopic study of Langmuir monolayers of lipids having oppositely charged headgroups

Langmuir. 2010 Dec 7;26(23):18266-72. doi: 10.1021/la103129z. Epub 2010 Oct 26.


Sum-frequency vibrational spectroscopy, with the help of surface pressure-area (π-A) isotherm, was used to study lipid Langmuir monolayers composed of molecules with positively and negatively charged headgroups as well as a 1:1 neutral mixture of the two. The spectral profiles of the CH(x) stretch vibrations are similar for all monolayers in the liquid-condensed (LC) phase. They suggest a monolayer structure of closely packed alkyl chains that are nearly all-trans and well oriented along the surface normal. In the liquid-expanded (LE) phase, the spectra of all monolayers appear characteristic of loosely packed chains with significant gauche defects. The OH stretch spectra of interfacial water for both positively and negatively charged monolayers are significantly enhanced in comparison with a neutral water interface, but the phase measurement of SFVS indicates that OH in the two cases points toward the bulk and the interface, respectively. The enhancement results mainly from surface-field-induced polar ordering of interfacial water molecules. For a charge-neutral monolayer composed of an equal number of positively and negatively charged lipid molecules, no such enhancement is observed. This mixed monolayer exhibits a wide range of LC/LE coexistence region extended to very low surface pressure and its CH(x) spectral profile in the coexistence region resembles that of the LC phase. This result suggests that in the LC/LE coexistence region, the mixed monolayer consists of coexisting LC and LE patches in which oppositely charged lipid molecules are homogeneously mixed and dispersed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air
  • Chemistry / methods
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Membranes / chemistry
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force / methods
  • Models, Statistical
  • Phosphatidylglycerols / chemistry
  • Pressure
  • Propane / analogs & derivatives
  • Propane / chemistry
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds / chemistry
  • Static Electricity
  • Surface Properties
  • Water / chemistry


  • 1,2-dipalmitoyl-3-trimethylammonium-propane
  • Lipids
  • Phosphatidylglycerols
  • Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
  • Water
  • dimyristoylphosphatidylglycerol
  • Propane