Strong light absorption and high levels of singlet oxygen production indicate erythrosin B as a viable candidate as a photosensitizer in photodynamic therapy or photodynamic inactivation of microorganisms. Under light irradiation, erythrosin B undergoes a photobleaching process that can decrease the production of singlet oxygen. In this paper, we use thermal lens spectroscopy to investigate photobleaching in micellar solutions of erythrosin ester derivatives: methyl, butyl, and decyl esters in low concentrations of non-ionic micellar aqueous solutions. Using a previously developed thermal lens model, it was possible to determine the photobleaching rate and fluorescence quantum efficiency for dye-micelle solutions. The results suggest that photobleaching is related to the intensity of the dye-micelle interaction and demonstrate that the thermal lens technique can be used as a sensitive tool for quantitative measurement of photochemical properties in very diluted solutions.
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