The influence of graphene (G) dispersions in different types of surfactants (anionic, non-ionic, and cationic) on the fluorescence of vitamin B6
(pyridoxine) was studied. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to evaluate the quality of the G dispersions via measuring their flake thickness. The effect of surfactant type and concentration on the fluorescence intensity was analyzed, and fluorescence quenching effects were found for all of the systems. These turn out to be more intense with increasing both surfactant and G concentrations, albeit they do not depend on the G/surfactant weight ratio. For the same G concentration, the magnitude of the quenching follows the order: cationic > non-ionic ≥ anionic. The cationic surfactants, which strongly adsorb onto G via electrostatic attraction, are the most effective dispersing agents and they enable a stronger interaction with the zwitterionic form of the vitamin; the dispersing power improves with increasing the surfactant chain length. The fit of the experimental data to the Stern-Volmer equation suggests either a static or dynamic quenching mechanism for the dispersions in non-ionic surfactants, while those in ionic surfactants show a combined mechanism. The results that were obtained herein have been compared to those that were reported earlier for the quenching of another vitamin, riboflavin, to elucidate how the change in the vitamin structure influences the interactions with G in the surfactant dispersions.
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