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Synthesis of Novel Amphiphilic Azobenzenes and X-ray Scattering Studies of Their Langmuir Monolayers

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-04-02, 17:06 authored by Thomas J. Sørensen, Kristan Kjaer, Dag W. Breiby, Bo W. Laursen
We report a simple synthetic route to novel symmetrical alkylated and acylated amphiphilic 4,4‘-diaminoazobenzene dyes, with their optical axis perpendicular to the amphiphilic direction of the molecule. Three different substitution patterns are reported, two of which are highly amphiphilic. At the air−water interface, the amphiphilic azobenzenes form noncrystalline but stable Langmuir films that display an unusual reversible monolayer collapse close to 35 mN/m. The structures and phase transitions were studied by X-ray reflectivity (XR) and grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction, both utilizing synchrotron radiation. Compression beyond the collapse point does not change the XR data, showing that the film is unchanged at the molecular level, even at areas less than half of that of the collapse. This leads to the conclusion that few macroscopic collapse sites are responsible for reversibly removing large amounts of material from the interface.