|Title||Combined Atomic Force Microscopy and Spectroscopic Ellipsometry Applied to the Analysis of Lipid-Protein Thin Films|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2013|
|Authors||Finot, E., L. Markey, F. Hane, M. Amrein, and Z. Leonenko|
|Journal||Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces|
|Keywords||atomic force microscopy, BLES, ellipsometry, ITO, Langmuir-Blodgett monolayer, phospholipids, pulmonary surfactant|
Pulmonary surfactant is a complex mixture of phospholipids and proteins and forms a thin film at the lung alveolar interface separating air from liquid environment. The film reduces the work of breathing during repeatable compressions of the alveoli which form a characteristic multilayer upon compression. In this work, we investigated the structure of bovine lipid extract surfactant (BLES). We analysed the BLES films by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) in order to provide combined characterization of both morphology and thickness of surfactant films. We show how the spectroscopic ellipsometry can be used to supplement the data obtained by AFM. We demonstrate that indium tin oxide (ITO) substrate used for spectroscopic ellipsometry is preferable over glass substrate to enhance the optical contrast. An optical model was proposed to account for non-uniform film morphology. We obtained good correlations between the multilayer surface coverage, determined by both AFM and SE. SE measures the thickness of the first uniform monolayer as 2.6 nm that cannot be achieved by AFM imaging alone.