Langmuir monolayer and Langmuir-Blodgett films formed by a melamine-headed azobenzene-derived amphiphile: interfacial assembly affected by host-guest interaction.

Research paper by Weihong W Xu, Yanhua Y Wang, Yunxia Y Xiao, Fang F Liu, Guo-Yuan GY Lu

Indexed on: 27 Aug '09Published on: 27 Aug '09Published in: Langmuir


A novel azobenzene-derived amphiphile with a melamine head, 2Azo-2C12H2-melamine, has been synthesized. pi-A isotherm measurements displayed that this amphiphile is able to form a stable Langmuir monolayer on both pure water and barbituric acid (BA)- or thymine (T)-containing subphases. The collapse surface pressure and limiting molecular area of its Langmuir monolayer on pure water are 40 mN/m and 0.56 nm2, respectively. However, when barbituric acid or thymine was introduced into the subphase, the corresponding pi-A isotherms of the monolayers exhibited a lower collapse surface pressure (22 mN/m for BA, 21 mN/m for T) and smaller limiting molecular area (0.54 nm2 for BA and 0.52 nm2 for T). UV-vis and FT-IR studies of the LB films formed by 2Azo-2C12H25-melamine have also been carried out. The results indicated that the LB films of 2Azo-2C12H25-melamine deposited from pure water undergo distinct collapse of the H-aggregate upon UV irradiation, while the LB films deposited from a BA- or T-containing subphase retain the H-aggregate. The host-guest-interaction-induced blockage of azobenzene photoisomerization should be responsible for the stabilized H-aggregate. A 1:1 host/guest binding mode to form a linear supramolecular polymeric chain has been proposed in the Langmuir monolayers formed on a BA- or T-containing subphase. The current results suggest that the host-guest interaction should be an effective means to manipulate the interfacial assembly of azobenzene-derived amphiphiles.