Kinetics of salt-induced J-aggregation of cyanine dyes

Tatyana D Slavnova, Alexander K Chibisov, Helmut Görner
Journal of Physical Chemistry. A 2005 June 2, 109 (21): 4758-65
The addition of monovalent, divalent, and trivalent metal ions to three anionic ethyl meso-thiacarbocyanine dyes, an ethyl meso-oxacarbocyanine, and an imidacarbocyanine in aqueous solution at room temperature results in the production of J-aggregates within the range of tens to hundreds of seconds. The rate of formation of J-aggregates correlates with the rate of decay of dimers or monomers and is dependent on the type of metal ion, dye structure, and temperature. The rate of formation of J-aggregates increases as the temperature decreases and the dye and salt concentrations increase, and the rate is highest for trivalent ions and smallest for monovalent ions, independent of the type of anion. The time course of formation of J-aggregates is described in most cases by a sigmoidal curve, and the kinetics and mechanism are discussed within the framework of autocatalysis. Computer simulations reveal that the sigmoidal time dependence is transferred to an exponential-like curve by substantially increasing the rate constant for the noncatalytic step. The reaction pathway into J-aggregates can be switched from dimeric ion pairs as the reactant to monomeric ion pairs, when the rate constant for the catalytic step via the monomer becomes larger with respect to that via the dimer.

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