Neutron reflectivity study of lipid membranes assembled on ordered nanocomposite and nanoporous silica thin films


Dhaval A. Doshi, Andrew M. Dattelbaum, Erik B. Watkins, C. Jeffrey Brinker, Basil I. Swanson, Andrew P. Shreve, Atul N. Parikh, and Jaroslaw Majewski, Langmuir 21, 2865-2870, 2005

Single bilayer membranes of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) were formed on ordered nanocomposite and nanoporous silica thin films by fusion of small unilamellar vesicles. The structure of these membranes was investigated using neutron reflectivity. The underlying thin films were formed by evaporation induced self-assembly to obtain periodic arrangements of silica and surfactant molecules in the nanocomposite thin films, followed by photocalcination to oxidatively remove the organics and render the films nanoporous. We show that this platform affords homogeneous and continuous bilayer membranes that have promising applications as model membranes and sensors.