Specially synthesized amphiphilic resorcinol calixarene (resorcarene 2) molecules have been deposited as Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) films on a variety of substrates including hydrophobically treated glass slides, silicon and gold-coated glass slides. A value of 1.9 nm(2) is obtained for the area per molecule from measurements of pressure/area isotherms of the floating layer. Optical absorption studies within the ultraviolet-visible frequency region have been performed on these molecules in both LB films and in solution of resorcarene 2 in chloroform, containing 10% ethanol. Molecular aggregation in the form of dimerization is believed to take place during film formation. Further analysis has been carried out for Langmuir-Blodgett films of resorcarene 2 by using Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy, low-angle X-ray diffraction and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) techniques. The monolayer thickness of 1.6 nm found from SPR measurements is consistent with that from other experimental observations. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.