Three homologous saturated phosphatidylcholines were studied by electron microscopy after tricomplex fixation. The results are compared with those obtained by x-ray diffraction analysis of the same and some other homologous compounds, in the dry crystalline state and after tricomplex fixation. By electron microscopy alternating dark and light bands are observed which are likely to correspond to phosphatide double layers. X-Ray diffraction reveals the presence of lamellar structures of regular spacing. The layer spacings obtained by both methods are in good agreement. From the electron micrographs the width of the polar parts of the double layers can be derived directly. The width of the carboxylglycerylphosphorylcholine moiety of the layers is found by extrapolating the x-ray diffraction data to zero chain length of the fatty acids. When from this width the contribution of the carboxylglyceryl part of the molecules is subtracted, again we find good agreement with the electron microscope measurements. An attempt has been made to account for the different layer spacings measured in terms of orientation of the molecules within the double layers.

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