Volume 82, Number 3, May 2008
Article Number 38001
Number of page(s) 6
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 15 April 2008
EPL, 82 (2008) 38001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/82/38001

Conditions for overall planarity in membranes: Applications to multicomponent membranes with lamellar morphology

F. J. Solis1, C. M. Funkhouser2 and K. Thornton2

1  Department of Integrated Natural Sciences, Arizona State University - Phoenix, AZ 85069, USA
2  Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA

received 21 October 2007; accepted in final form 5 March 2008; published May 2008
published online 15 April 2008

The coupling of geometric shapes and local composition in multicomponent membranes results in the formation of complex structures. These membranes can form structures that are planar at large length scales while retaining complex morphologies at smaller scales. We explicitly construct the overall planarity condition for membranes and identify it with the presence of an average tension at the membrane boundary with nonzero components only along the plane defined by the average height of the membrane. The explicit construction of the condition simplifies the analysis of morphologies of the planar membrane. We apply this method to the case of a bicomponent membrane with lamellar morphology. We determine the possible shapes of membranes, their stabilities and the thermodynamic equations of state satisfied by their intensive variables.

87.16.D- - Membranes, bilayers, and vesicles.
87.16.A- - Theory, modeling, and simulations.

© EPLA 2008