Supramolecular control over donor-acceptor photoinduced charge separation

Alicia Marcos Ramos, Stefan C J Meskers, Edwin H A Beckers, Ryan B Prince, Luc Brunsveld, René A J Janssen
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2004 August 11, 126 (31): 9630-44
A novel donor-bridge-acceptor system has been synthesized by covalently linking a p-phenylene vinylene oligomer (OPV) and a perylene diimid (PERY) at opposite ends of a m-phenylene ethynylene oligomer (FOLD) of twelve phenyl rings, containing nonpolar (S)-3,7-dimethyl-1-octanoxy side chains. For comparison, model compounds have been prepared in which either the donor or acceptor is absent. In chloroform, the oligomeric bridge is in a random coil conformation. Upon addition of an apolar solvent (heptane) the oligomeric bridge first folds into a helical stack and subsequently intermolecular self-assembly of the stacks into columnar architectures occurs. Photoexcitation in the random coil conformation, where the interaction between the donor and acceptor chromophores is small, results only in long-range intramolecular energy transfer in which the OPV singlet-excited state is transformed into the PERY singlet-excited state. In the folded conformation of the bridge, donor and acceptor are closer and their enhanced interaction favors the formation the OPV(*)(+)-FOLD-PERY(*)(-) charge-separated state upon photoexcitation. As a result, the extent of photoinduced charge separation depends on the degree of folding of the bridge between donor and acceptor and therefore on the apolar nature of the medium. As a consequence, and contrary to conventional photoinduced charge separation processes, the formation of the OPV(*)(+)-FOLD-PERY(*)(-) charge-separated state is more favored in apolar media.

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