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Formation of Pseudoisocyanine J-Aggregates in Poly(vinyl alcohol) Fibers by Electrospinning
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Submicrometer diameter, light emitting fibers of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) doped with pseudoisocyanine (1,1′-diethyl-2,2′-cyanine bromide, PIC) dye were prepared by electrospinning. A horizontal setup was employed with a stationary collector consisting of two parallel-positioned metal strips separated by a void gap. Formation of uniaxially aligned and randomly deposited fibers in electrospun films was confirmed by microscopy. Photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy is used to evaluate spectral properties of both types of fibers doped with PIC. While PIC molecules were individually dispersed in PVA solution, they assemble into J-aggregates upon electrospinning when the weight fraction of PIC molecules is above 2.5 wt %. The formation of J-aggregates was observed in both randomly deposited and uniaxially aligned electrospun fibers. Moreover, the fibers aligned uniaxially showed a high degree of polarized emission (PL |/PL⊥)10), arising from the orientation of J-aggregates along the fiber axis. On the other hand, isotropic emission of J-aggregates was observed from the fibers deposited randomly. As a conclusion, electrospinning was found to be an efficient and a practical method to form highly oriented J-aggregates dispersed into polymer fibers. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time formation of J-aggregates (a bottom-up approach) and electrospinning (a topdown approach) is successfully combined.