Phys. Rev. Lett. 81, 3455 (1998)

X-Ray Measurements of Noncapillary Spatial Fluctuations from a Liquid Surface

M. Fukuto, R.K. Heilmann, and P.S. Pershan
Department of Physics and Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences,
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

J.A. Griffiths, S.M. Yu, and D.A. Tirrell
Polymer Science and Engineering Department,
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003


Off-specular diffuse x-ray scattering measurements on both pure water and a homogeneous Langmuir monolayer of poly-g-benzyl-L-glutamate (PBLG) on water establish the validity of a proposed sum rule for scattering from capillary fluctuations on liquid surfaces. Excess diffuse scattering above the predicted capillary contribution is observed when the PBLG monolayer is compressed beyond its elastic limit. This is interpreted in terms of a second-layer inhomogeneity with a surface correlation length of ~1000 Å. Excess off-specular scattering can be used to probe interface correlation lengths from 100 Å to 1 mm.

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