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Solid-State Solutions:  Polymer-Encapsulated Reverse Micelles Containing Dye Solutions

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journal contribution
posted on 20.02.2003, 00:00 by Shawn A. Sapp, C. Michael Elliott
Monomer solutions of styrene and divinylbenzene containing the surfactant Aerosol-OT were found to form stable reverse micelle aggregates with the addition of water or formamide as a polar solvent. These aggregates were stable below ca. 40 °C, and thermally initiated, radical polymerizations carried out below this temperature resulted in highly transparent polymer monoliths. These polymeric solids were of optical quality and could be easily shaped and polished. The emission of tris(2,2‘-bipyridyl)dichlororuthenium(II), placed inside these reverse micelles, was used as a semiquantitative probe of the chemical environment within the micellar aggregates and was studied by fluorescence spectroscopy. Both the spectral characteristics and the lifetime of the emission from polymeric samples indicated a solution environment for the dye inside the polymer-encapsulated reverse micelles. These materials should be good candidates for the incorporation of photoresponsive dyes requiring a solution-state environment to act effectively as signal transducers or memory elements.

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