Spin dynamics of photogenerated triradicals in fixed distance electron donor-chromophore-acceptor-TEMPO molecules

Qixi Mi, Erin T Chernick, David W McCamant, Emily A Weiss, Mark A Ratner, Michael R Wasielewski
Journal of Physical Chemistry. A 2006 June 15, 110 (23): 7323-33
The stable free radical 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinoxyl (TEMPO, T*) was covalently attached to the electron acceptor in a donor-chromophore-acceptor (D-C-A) system, MeOAn-6ANI-Phn-A-T*, having well-defined distances between each component, where MeOAn = p-methoxyaniline, 6ANI = 4-(N-piperidinyl)naphthalene-l,8-dicarboximide, Ph = 2,5-dimethylphenyl (n = 0,1), and A = naphthalene-1,8:4,5-bis(dicarboximide) (NI) or pyromellitimide (PI). Using both time-resolved optical and EPR spectroscopy, we show that T* influences the spin dynamics of the photogenerated triradical states 2,4(MeOAn+*-6ANI-Phn-A-*-T*), resulting in modulation of the charge recombination rate within the triradical compared with the corresponding biradical lacking T*. The observed spin-spin exchange interaction between the photogenerated radicals MeOAn+* and A-* is not altered by the presence of T*, which interacts most strongly with A-* and accelerates radical pair intersystem crossing. Charge recombination within the triradicals results in the formation of 2,4(MeOAn-6ANI-Phn-3*NI-T*) or 2,4(MeOAn-3*6ANI-Phn-PI-T*) in which T* is strongly spin polarized in emission. Normally, the spin dynamics of correlated radical pairs do not produce a net spin polarization; however, the rate at which the net spin polarization appears on T* closely follows the photogenerated radical ion pair decay rate. This effect is attributed to antiferromagnetic coupling between T* and the local triplet state 3NI, which is populated following charge recombination. These results are explained using a switch in the spin basis set between the triradical and the three-spin charge recombination product having both T* and 3*NI or 3*6ANI present.

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