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Investigating the Structure of Self-Assembled Monolayers Related to Biological Cell Membranes

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journal contribution
posted on 22.10.2019 by Ahlam R. M. Alharbi, Jakob M. Andersson, Ingo Köper, Gunther G. Andersson
Tethered bilayer lipid membranes are solid supported lipid membranes, where the inner leaflet is covalently linked to the solid supported substrate through anchorlipids. These anchorlipids form a self-assembled monolayer, which serves as the basis of the membrane and also provides submembrane space. The molecular structure and composition of this monolayer has thus significant influence on the membrane structural and functional properties. The density of the self-assembled monolayer can be tailored by adding small molecules to the monolayer. Here, the structure of fully tethered and sparsely tethered monolayers, where the anchorlipid has been diluted with a small surface-active thiol, has been analyzed using neutral impact collision ion scattering spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and metastable induced electron spectroscopy. Combination of these three techniques allowed description of the self-assembly process in detail. The monolayers have been characterized in terms of layer thickness and orientation of the lipids.