Volume 86, Number 6, June 2009
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||17 June 2009|
Confinement-induced orientational alignment of quasi-2D fluids
Research Department of Synchrotron Radiation and Nanotechnology, Paul Scherrer Institut CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
2 Institute of Solid State Research, Forschungszentrum Jülich - D-52425 Jülich, Germany, EU
3 ETH Zürich - CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 3 June 2009
We have developed a unique approach for studying the ensemble-averaged nearest-neighbor coordination of confined fluids by combining small-angle X-ray scattering and phase-retrieval–based X-ray diffraction from fluid-filled nanofluidic channel arrays. We apply the method to a charge-stabilized quasi–two-dimensional colloidal fluid (particle diameter 48 nm), focusing on the structural transition from a monolayer to a bilayer with increasing fluid film thickness. In contrast to theoretical work on the paradigmatic hard-sphere fluid, we find unambiguous experimental evidence for orientational alignment of fluids in extreme confinement.
PACS: 68.08.-p – Liquid-solid interfaces / 61.05.cf – X-ray scattering (including small-angle scattering) / 82.70.-y – Disperse systems; complex fluids
© EPLA, 2009
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