Reaching a control on the mesoscopic morphology and internal molecular arrangement of cyanine aggregates is an important step for realization of devices with tailor-made optical properties. Despite a wealth of research, understanding of the relationship between molecular organization, excitonic states and dynamics of aggregates is still preliminary. To this end, we have employed polarized absorption spectroscopy to investigate the relationship between internal molecular organization and excitonic states of J-aggregates in 1,1',3,3'tetraethyl-5,5',6,6'-tetrachlorobenzimidazolocarbocyanine (TTBC) thin films in poly-vinyl alcohol (PVA). Angular dependence of the UV-vis spectra has been measured at 11 different orientations between the electric field polarization and the macroscopic alignment axis. Aggregate spectral response consisted of an asymmetrically split Davydov pair of bands exhibiting opposite polarization: an H-band (505 nm, Lorentzian-like, polarized along the macroscopic film axis) and a J-band (594 nm, one-dimensional J-aggregate like band shape, polarized perpendicular to the macroscopic film axis). The polarized absorption observations were found to be consistent with a herringbone model for which the internal molecular arrangement, the excited state structure and dynamics have recently been detailed by us upon interpretation of isotropic absorption data in ionic aqueous solution. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.