Micelle-assisted bilayer formation of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide thin films studied with combinatorial spectroscopic ellipsometry and quartz crystal microbalance techniques

K. B. Rodenhausen, M. Guericke, A. Sarkar, T. Hofmann, N. Ianno, M. Schubert, T. E. Tiwald, M. Solinsky, M. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


We report on a combinatorial approach to study the formation of ultra-thin organic films using in-situ spectroscopic ellipsometry and quartz crystal microbalance methods. In contrast to the quartz crystal microbalance, which is sensitive to the total mass attached to the surface, including coupled and entrapped solvent, spectroscopic ellipsometry only measures the amount of adsorbent on the surface. By using these two techniques in tandem, we define and determine the solvent fraction of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide thin films adsorbed onto a gold-coated quartz crystal. Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide thin films grown from aqueous solutions above the critical micelle concentration reveal critical phases in thickness and porosity evolution. We relate these effects to the mechanisms of formation and removal and the structure of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide films, which we determine to have systemic defects due to the presence of micelles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2821-2824
Number of pages4
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2011



  • CTAB
  • Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide
  • Quartz crystal microbalance
  • Spectroscopic ellipsometry
  • Surfactants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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