Structures of Nanoconfined Liquids Determined by Synchrotron X-ray Diffraction

Masashi Mizukami, Takuya Yanagimachi, Noboru Ohta, Yuuta Shibuya, Naoto Yagi, Kazue Kurihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We have successfully performed X-ray diffraction measurements of the liquids octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (OMCTS, a quasi-spherical-shaped molecule) and n-hexadecane (a normal alkane) confined between mica surfaces at surface separation distances (D's) from 500 nm to the hard-wall thickness (1.9 nm for OMCTS and 1.0 nm for hexadecane). At all of the studied D's, we observed diffraction peaks corresponding to their mean intermolecular spacing at q = 8.6 nm-1 (d = 0.73 nm) for OMCTS and q = 13.6 nm-1 (d = 0.45 nm) for n-hexadecane. The peak intensity increased at D < ca. 50 nm for OMCTS even with the decreasing distance and exhibited a local maximum at D = 17-13 nm, indicating the sharp increase in the molecular order in this distance range. The peak intensities normalized by the D and Inormalized values of OMCTS and n-hexadecane were nearly constant at D's greater than 100 nm, though they appeared to increase slightly. The increase then became more significant with decreasing D below 100 nm, and finally the Inormalized values became 120 (for OMCTS) and 160 (for n-hexadecane) at the hard wall. These results clearly demonstrated the significant increase in the structural order of OMCTS and n-hexadecane under nanoconfinement, especially below 100 nm. The fwhm values of the peaks of OMCTS and n-hexadecane showed no significant change until small distances when the confinement effect was significant. These results indicated that the increase in the structural order should be mainly ascribed to the ordering of the molecules in the parallel plane in the enhanced layered structure formed under the confinement. The viscous parameters (b2) of OMCTS and n-hexadecane obtained from the resonance shear measurement showed no increase at D's down to ca. 7 nm. This indicated that a certain ordering of the confined molecules was required for the observable increase in the viscosity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5248-5256
Number of pages9
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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