Electron donor-bridge-acceptor molecules with bridging nitronyl nitroxide radicals: influence of a third spin on charge- and spin-transfer dynamics

Erin T Chernick, Qixi Mi, Richard F Kelley, Emily A Weiss, Brooks A Jones, Tobin J Marks, Mark A Ratner, Michael R Wasielewski
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2006 April 5, 128 (13): 4356-64
Appending a stable radical to the bridge molecule in a donor-bridge-acceptor system (D-B-A) is potentially an important way to control charge- and spin-transfer dynamics through D-B-A. We have attached a nitronyl nitroxide (NN*) stable radical to a D-B-A system having well-defined distances between the components: MeOAn-6ANI-Ph(NN*)-NI, where MeOAn = p-methoxyaniline, 6ANI = 4-(N-piperidinyl)naphthalene-1,8-dicarboximide, Ph = phenyl, and NI = naphthalene-1,8:4,5-bis(dicarboximide). MeOAn-6ANI, NN*, and NI are attached to the 1, 3, and 5 positions of the Ph bridge. Using both time-resolved optical and EPR spectroscopy, we show that NN* influences the spin dynamics of the photogenerated triradical states (2,4)(MeOAn(+)*-6ANI-Ph(NN*)-NI(-)*), resulting in slower charge recombination within the triradical compared to the corresponding biradical lacking NN*. The observed spin-spin exchange interaction between the photogenerated radicals MeOAn(+)(*) and NI(-)(*) is not altered by the presence of NN*, which only accelerates radical pair intersystem crossing. Charge recombination within the triradical results in the formation of (2,4)(MeOAn-6ANI-Ph(NN*)-(3)NI), in which NN* is strongly spin-polarized. Normally, the spin dynamics of correlated radical pairs do not produce a net spin polarization; however, net spin polarization appears on NN* with the same time constant as describes the photogenerated radical ion pair decay. This effect is attributed to antiferromagnetic coupling between NN* and the local triplet state (3)NI, which is populated following charge recombination. This requires an effective switch in the spin basis set between the triradical and the three-spin charge recombination product having both NN* and (3)NI present.

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