Portable UV-visible spectrometer for measuring absorbance and dichroism of Langmuir monolayers at air-water interfaces

Tronin, Andrey; Strzalka, Joseph; Krishnan, Venkata; Kuzmenko, Ivan; Fry, H. Christopher; Therien, Michael; Blasie, J. Kent
March 2009
Review of Scientific Instruments;Mar2009, Vol. 80 Issue 3, p033102
Academic Journal
An UV-visible spectrometer for measuring absorbance and dichroism of Langmuir monolayers under in situ conditions is described. The spectrometer utilizes a stand-alone multipass sensor, which is placed in a Langmuir trough and coupled with light source and spectrometer head via fiber optics. Implementation of the multipass scheme in the absorbance sensor makes it possible to obtain reliable quantitative spectroscopic data of the Langmuir monolayers with absorbance as low as 1 mOD. Such high sensitivity makes the developed sensor very useful for UV-visible spectral studies of a wide variety of chromophores. The new technique was applied to several model systems: fatty acid monolayers containing amphiphilic dyes DiI or BODIPY and also a monolayer of a synthetic amphiphilic porphyrin-binding peptide BBC16. Implementation of UV-visible absorbance spectroscopy measurements in situ together with x-ray scattering technique was used to confirm the bound state of the chromophore, and determine the exact position of the latter in the peptide matrix. Fiber optics design of the spectrometer provides portability and compatibility with other experimental techniques making it possible to study samples with a geometry unsuitable for conventional spectroscopic measurements and located in experimental environments with spatial limitations, such as synchrotron x-ray scattering stations.


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