Photoinduced energy and electron transfer in micellar multilayer films
Micellar multilayer films were prepared from an amphiphilic comb-like polycation (""polysoap"") and the polyanion poly(styrene sulfonate) (PSS) using alternate polyelectrolyte layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly. Linear growth of the film thickness was evidenced by UV-vis spectroscopy and spectroscopic ellipsometry. Imaging by atomic force microscopy (AFM) indicated that the micellar conformation adopted by the polycation in solutions was preserved in the films. Thus, hydrophobic photoactive molecules, which were solubilized by the hydrophobic nanodomains of the micellar polymer prior to deposition, could be transferred into the films. Photoinduced energy transfer was observed in the nanostructured multilayers between naphthalene (donor) and perylene (acceptor) molecules embedded inside the polymer micelles. The efficiency of the energy transfer process can be controlled to some extent by introducing spacer layers between the layers containing the donor or acceptor, revealing partial stratification of the micellar LbL films. Also, photoinduced electron transfer was evidenced between perylene (donor) and butyl viologen (acceptor) molecules embedded inside the multilayers by steady-state fluorescence spectroscopy. The obtained photoactive nanostructures are promising candidates for solar-to-chemical energy conversion systems.