Electro-optic properties of organic nanotubes

Stoyl P. Stoylov, Svetla Stoilova-Mcphie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this review article the theoretical and experimental possibilities of applying EO-methods for estimation of the physico-chemical properties of the organic nanotubes (ONTs) are studied. The ONTs are highly organized nanostructures of strongly elongated, anysometric, and hollow cylinders with a size range of 1 nm to 10,000 nm, e.g. in aqueous solutions they could behave as colloid (disperse) particles. They have high interaction ability due to their extremely large curved, rolled-up external surfaces (bilayers of membrane walls) and unique properties because of their specific electric charge distribution and dynamics that make possible the functionalization of their surfaces. Thus they could template guestsubstances such as membrane proteins and protein complexes on the exterior surfaces and in the membrane. We performed our investigations for the case of ONT aqueous colloid suspension. Following our earlier proposition of the general expression for the electro-optic (EO) effect we derived equations for the evaluation of the electric properties of ONT particles such as mechanism of electric polarization and identification of their most important electric Dipole Moments (DM), permanent (pDM) and induced (iDMs). Further we recommend ways for the calculation of their magnitude and direction. Also we evaluated some geometrical properties such as length of the ONT particles and their polydispersity. The knowledge that we provided about the ONT properties may enable us to elucidate and predict their biological activity. Templating biological active ligands (such as membrane proteins and protein complexes) on the inner and outer surfaces as well as in the surface membrane creates their potential usefulness as carrier and deliverer of biopharmaceuticals in bio-nanodevices. The theoretical equations were compared with the experimental data for ONTs such as (lipid) LNT, Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) and microtubules (MT). Comparison of EO methods with other methods used till now shows that the EO methods are faster, not invasive and do not alter the studied particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-35
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Aug 10 2011


  • Colloids electro-optics
  • Optical anisotropy
  • Organic nanotubes
  • Permanent and induced dipole moments
  • Polarization
  • Surface charge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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