Photophysical Characterization of 1,8 Naphthalimide in Micelle-diblock Copolymer Nano-composite: A Case of Morphological Transformation and Vesicle Formation


Corresponding author email: (Sankar Chakravorti)


This paper reports a morphological transition of the spherical colloidal structures of the sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyethylene-b-polyethylene glycol (SDS-PE-b-PEG) complex and anionic micelle (SDS) to “rod-shaped” colloidal structures induced by a charge transfer dye, 1,8-naphthalimide (NAPMD) (forms anions in aqueous solution by intermolecular charge transfer). The distinct steady-state results of NAPMD in the above two media point toward the formation of a new microenvironment. SDS and SDS-PE-b-PEG form unilamellar (ULV) and multilamellar vesicles (MLV), respectively, along with the rod-shaped colloidal structures as observed from transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images. This dye causes a variation in the hydrophilic/hydrophobic ratio and forms a hydrogen bond with the copolymer in the SDS-PE-b-PEG complex and subjected to electrostatic interaction with the SDS micelle in aqueous solution, which causes this morphological transformation. These vesicles show complete encapsulation of a hydrophobic dye in its interior as evident from the TEM images. ULV get ruptured at low pH, pointing toward their lower stability over MLV at low pH value. The formation of these vesicles with complete idea of its mechanism, encapsulation of bioactive molecules and its rupture at lower pH raise hope as a potential nanoscale vehicle for biologically relevant compounds and their release at low pH medium.