Study of the conformational changes of chlorophyll a (Chl a) colloids with the atomic force microscope

S. Boussaad, A. Tazi, R. M. Leblanc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Atomic force microscopic (AFM) images of chlorophyll a (Chl a) colloids deposited onto mica and Au(111) present two different shapes. The colloids appear as clouds on mica and as large chains on Au(111). This difference in topography is attributed to different interactions between the colloids and the substrate. The real-time changes occurring during the electrodeposition of the colloids are also monitored. For an applied electric field intensity varying between 5 x 103 and 25 x 104 V/m, the colloids are opened and flattened relative to a deposition in the absence of an electric field and the drop method. However, when these films are exposed to ethanol vapors, disaggregation occurs. These changes indicate that the association of Chl a dimers can form nanocrystals with large size distribution: 45-100 nm. Arrangement of nanocrystals in colloids is a characteristic feature of microcrystalline Chl a. The interaction between the colloids and H2O can also provoke aggregate dissociation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-346
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 1999


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Chlorophyll a
  • Colloids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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