Ellipsometric studies of rod outer segment phospholipids at the nitrogen-water interface

Daniel Ducharme, Christian Salesse, Roger M. Leblanc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Ellipsometry is an optical method which uses the principle that the state of polarization of polarized light changes on reflection at an interface. We have constructed a null ellipsometer for the study of the optical properties of monomolecular films of biological interest at the nitrogen-water interface. With this apparatus we have reproduced the known ellipsometric properties of arachidic acid spread on acidic aqueous solution. Then, we have performed surface potential, surface pressure and ellipsometric measurements of PC (18:1) and rod outer segment phospholipids, i.e. PEros, PCros and PSros, at the nitrogen-water interface. Based on literature refractive indices data, results provide information about the thickness of a lipid film in the close-packed region. Pertinent information about molecular organization of the film is deduced from the close relationship observed between surface potential and ellipsometric isotherms. The importance of these results on the discal membrane structure and function is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-90
Number of pages8
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Oct 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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