The interaction of micelles and vesicles with surfaces
Kendra Kathan Galipeau, Ivan Korendovych, Alessandro Senes, William DeGrado and Dawn Bonnell
Using the lessons learned from biological systems is an exciting approach to controlling nanostructures. To implement this strategy in practical applications, the interactions of biomolecules with surfaces must be understood. Micelles, vesicles, bilayers and biological membranes form through self-assembly of amphiphilic molecules such as detergents or lipids. The morphology and properties of self-assembled aggregates will be controlled by interaction with a solid substrate. Atomically smooth graphite is used as an ideal surface on which to explore these interactions.
Micelles on a surface arrange to reduce the contact between hydrophobic graphite and water. Under the right conditions a hemicylindrical stripe pattern is developed, as shown on the upper right.
Vesicles usually form as a bilayer sheet. However, under some conditions, a monolayer of lipids lying head-to-head in ordered rows forms. This is seen on the right.