Pure and applied chemistry vol:73 issue:3 pages:435-441
A fifth-generation poly(propylene imine) dendrimer decorated with palmitoyl- and azobenzene-containing alkyl groups forms giant vesicles in aqueous solutions with diameters From 50 nm up to 20 mum and a multilaminar onion-like structure. Dense and ordered arrangement of the azobenzene chromophores in the bilayer structure leads to fluorescence with lambda (max)= 600 nm. The fluorescence intensity can be increased by irradiation with blue light, and at low pH a distinctive blue shift of the spectrum is observed. With the aid of a single-beam optical tweezers it is possible to trap vesicles and direct them in a billiard-like fashion against each other using forces in the range of several pN. In collision experiments, the vesicles behave like hard spheres, and merging is not observed.