Monomolecular Layers of Chlorophyll

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IN order to study the properties of monomolecular layers of chlorophyll, a mixture of the modifications a and b in the proportion 3: 1 (the proportion encountered in living plants), furnished by Prof. Stoll of Basle, was dissolved in ether or acetone. The solution was first added to pure water, to 0.01 normal and to 0.1 normal sulphuric acid. The relation obtained between area and pressure showed that a monomolecular layer actually is formed. No notice able difference was found between the case of pure water and that of the acid, so that all the results can be incorporated in Curve I (Fig. 1). The spreading with a solution in acetone is recommended because on account of the greater volatility of the ether, traces of solid chlorophyll frequently remain at the opening of the pipette, making it more difficult to obtain reproducible values. Curve I corresponds to a film of the liquid type. The limiting area per molecule at zero compression is 124 A.2, a value in satisfactory agreement with the value of about 133 A.2, recently given by Hughes1. The small difference probably is due to impurities. At a pressure of about 26 dynes per cm. the film becomes polymolecular, the curve becoming a horizontal line.

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  1. 1

    A. Hughes, Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 155, 710 (1936).

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