Electron diffraction intensity data were collected from a 2:3 binary solid solution of two homologous phosphatidylethanolamines (1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycerophosphoethanolamine and 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycerophosphoethanolamine) epitaxially oriented by cocrystallization with naphthalene. The layer packing was determined directly by predicting the value of 12 of the 17 phases from sigma 1- and sigma 2-triplet invariants in space group P1. A reverse Fourier transform of the resulting potential maps provides estimates for three other phases and the two remaining ones were found by generating maps for the 2(2) = 4 possible phase combinations and then testing the smoothness of the potential profile of the hydrocarbon chain packing. The same phase solution can be found by translating a molecular model (based on the known x-ray crystal structure of a shorter homologue) past the unit cell origin. The solid solution is found to retain a stable polar group packing while the statistical occupancy of two terminal-chain carbons is expressed by a reduced potential profile at the nonpolar interface at the bilayer center
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