Strategies for modulating the luminescence properties of pyronin Y dye- clay films: an experimental and theoretical study

N Epelde-Elezcano and V Martinez-Martinez and E Duque-Redondo and I Temino and H Manzano and I Lopez-Arbeloa, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 18, 8730-8738 (2016).

DOI: 10.1039/c6cp00382f

The aggregation process, particularly the type and extent of pyronin Y (PY) laser dye intercalated into supported thin films of two different trioctahedral clay minerals, LAPONITE (R) (Lap) and saponite (Sap), at different dye loadings is studied: (i) experimentally by means of electronic absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy and (ii) theoretically by modeling the distribution of the dye into the interlayer space of these layered silicates. According to the results, H-type aggregates of the PY dye are favoured in Lap even at very low dye loading while a much lower molecular aggregation tendency in J-type geometry is found in Sap films. The aggregation state of PY in each clay mineral is likely attributed to different strengths of the electrostatic interactions between the dye and the layered silicate in the interlayer space due to their distinctive charge localization on the TOT clay layer (i.e. net negative charge in octahedral layers for Lap vs. in tetrahedral layers for Sap), as well as the interlaminar water distribution in each clay mineral, although other factors such as their CEC and particle size cannot be discarded. To reduce the huge aggregation processes of PY dye into Lap films, surfactant molecules (DDTAB) are co-adsorbed in the interlayer space of the clay. At an optimized surfactant concentration, the aggregation tendency of PY dye in Lap is considerably reduced enormously improving the fluorescence efficiency of the PY/Lap films. Finally, by means of anisotropic response from the hybrid films to the plane of the polarized light, the orientation of the PY molecules with respect to the normal axis of the clay layer is determined for all films (with and without surfactant) at different dye loadings.

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