The p-conjugated supramolecular aggregates have gained significant interest in recent years. The cyanine dye aggregates are particularly interesting due to their unique optical and excitonic properties, which cannot be found in individual molecules. Cyanine dyes can form different kinds of aggregates. H-aggregates are formed when dye molecules are packed in a face-to-face fashion, which gives rise to a blue-shift absorption band and strong emission quenching compared to the monomer. J-aggregates are composed of individual dye molecules in a head-to-tail stacking, which leads to a red-shift absorption band and a sharp intense emission band with a small Stoke shift compared with the monomer. The oblique aggregates are formed when dye molecules are twisted and show both H and J-band, which split from the monomer band. Using organic dye as a fluorescent probe for detection is not a novel idea. However, the unstable and high fluorescence blocked the application. The cyanine dye aggregates have great potential to be used as a stable, sensitive, and accurate probe. Serum albumins are the most crucial protein in the blood, and it carries essential physiologic functions. The serum albumin level in urine can be used as an indicator of patient's health condition. The presence and elevated concentration level of serum albumin can be caused by several diseases, such as diabetes, liver and kidney disorders. People have developed many SA detection methods; however, most of them are time-consuming and need expensive equipment. In this dissertation, we studied the self-assembly behavior of 3,3'-ditetradecyloxacarbocyanine (DiOC14(3)) and 3,3'-Dioctadecyloxacarbocyanine (DiOC18(3)) in methanol/water mixture with and without the presence of ammonia. We studied how the structure of dye molecules, the concentration, and OH^-will influence the morphology and property of aggregates. Then we used different DiOC14(3) aggregates as a fluorescence probes to detect BSA in synthetic urine. We found DiOC14(3) non-crystalline aggregates has highly specific turn-on fluorescence property to BSA. The sensitivity and selectivity of found DiOC14(3) non-crystalline aggregates have great potential for early diagnosis of liver, kidney disorders, and other diseases.


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Graduation Date





Fang, Jiyu


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Materials Science and Engineering

Degree Program

Materials Science and Engineering




CFE0009377; DP0027100





Release Date

December 2022

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)