ABSTRACT Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used for the morphological characterization and precise height meas-urements of two-dimensional molecular layers of carbocyanine dye 3,3’-di(r-sulfopropyl)-4,4’,5,5’-dibenzo-9-ethylthiacarbocyanine betaine pyridinium salt. The AFM measurements reveal three morphological types of molecular aggregates: leaves, stripes and spots. The leaves are stripes have same monolayer height ~1.4 nm and different crystal shapes: the leaves are monoloyers with the lens shape and the stripes are bilay-ers with the shape of extended rectangles. The monolayer height ~1.4 nm was interpreted as indicating the symmetrical packing arrangement of dye molecules. In the symmetrical monolayer, the sulfopropyl groups of all-trans monomer units are located on both monolayer sides whereas the adjacent stacked dye molecules have a lateral slippage providing the J-aggregate optical properties. The lower height of spots ~1 nm was explained by the model of an asymmetric monolayer with sulfopropyl groups of all-trans monomers occupy-ing the same position with respect to the monolayer plane. The packing arrangement of all-trans monomers in the asymmetric monolayer corresponds to H-aggregate. The alternative models of the packing arrange-ment in monolayers with mono-cis1 monomer configuration are discussed.
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