Defects in the layering of Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films can be eliminated by depositing from the appropriate monolayer phase at the air-water interface. LB films deposited from the hexagonal phase of cadmium arachidate (CdA2) at pH 7 spontaneously transform into the bulk soap structure, a centrosymmetric bilayer with an orthorhombic herringbone packing. A large wavelength folding mechanism accelerates the conversion between the two structures, leading to a disruption of the desired layering. At pH > 8.5, though it is more difficult to draw LB films, almost perfect layering is obtained due to the inability to convert from the as-deposited structure to the equilibrium one.
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