Surface potential of charged liposomes determined by second harmonic generation

Yan Liu, Elsa C.Y. Yan, Xiaolin Zhao, Kenneth B. Eisenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


We demonstrate that the surface potential of charged liposomes can be determined by second harmonic generation. The Gouy-Chapman model is used to describe the electric double layer. From the experimental data, we obtained the surface charge density and the surface potential of liposomes consisting of the negatively charged phospholipid dioleoylphosphatidylglycerol. The surface potential was found to be in the range of 20-100 mV depending on the concentration and valence of the electrolyte (NaCl or MgSO4) in solution. The charge density was found to be ∼1.3 × 1014 per cm2, corresponding to ∼70 Å2/charge, which is comparable to the area per phospholipid headgroup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2063-2066
Number of pages4
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 3 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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