Silk Fibroin‐Based Films Enhance Rhodamine 6G Emission in the Solid State: A Chemical–Physical Analysis of their Interactions for the Design of Highly Emissive Biomaterials
Described herein is the preparation of dye‐doped films employing silk fibroin (SF) as a biomaterial, capable of preserving the optical properties of the monomeric dye in the solid state, a critical requisite for optical and biolaser applications. A comprehensive physical–chemical characterization is reported for SF films doped with Rhodamine 6G, an ideal candidate for photonics and optoelectronics. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), circular dichroism (CD) and X‐Ray diffraction (XRD) provide information on SF secondary conformation in the presence of rhodamine. UV–vis absorption spectra and exciton CD inform on the structure of encapsulated rhodamine, while changes in dye photophysical properties illuminate the molecular mechanism of the involved host–guest interactions. SF host environment inhibits rhodamine dimer formation, indicating that SF is an optimum matrix to keep rhodamine essentially monomeric at concentrations as high as 7 mm in the film. The relevant optical properties of these films and the easiness of their preparation, make these systems optimal candidates for innovative photonic technologies.
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