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Issue 4, 2013
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Electrospun UV-responsive supramolecular nanofibers from a cyclodextrinazobenzene inclusion complex

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A combination of the unique hosting properties of cyclodextrins (CDs) and the peculiar UV-responsive transcis isomerization of the guest molecule azobenzene has endowed light-responsibility of the inclusion complex (IC). The IC of 4-aminoazobenzene (AAB) and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD), with its inherent viscosity from hydrogen bondings between CDs and π–π stacking between AABs, was electrospun into nanofibers from water without using any carrier polymer matrix. The integrity of electrospun ICs was proven by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), together with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The homogeneous distribution of HPβCD–AAB-IC was confirmed by surface chemistry mapping using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). The UV response of ICs prior to, during and post electrospinning was investigated. UV irradiation prior to electrospinning caused precipitation of AAB from the aqueous IC solution. UV irradiation during electrospinning flight demonstrated the interruption of ICs and consequently broader diameter distributions were obtained. Post-spinning UV irradiation induced topography and adhesion force changes on the electrospun nanofiber surfaces, demonstrated by in situ atomic force microspectroscopy (AFM) quantitative nanomechanical mapping. The present study is the first case where the supramolecule with stimuli response was electrospun into nanofibers with retained activity.

Graphical abstract: Electrospun UV-responsive supramolecular nanofibers from a cyclodextrin–azobenzene inclusion complex

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Sep 2012, accepted on 15 Nov 2012 and first published on 15 Nov 2012

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2TC00180B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013,1, 850-855
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    Electrospun UV-responsive supramolecular nanofibers from a cyclodextrinazobenzene inclusion complex

    M. Chen, S. R. Nielsen, T. Uyar, S. Zhang, A. Zafar, M. Dong and F. Besenbacher, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013, 1, 850
    DOI: 10.1039/C2TC00180B

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