Time-resolved EPR studies of photogenerated radical ion pairs separated by p-phenylene oligomers and of triplet states resulting from charge recombination

Zachary E X Dance, Qixi Mi, David W McCamant, Michael J Ahrens, Mark A Ratner, Michael R Wasielewski
Journal of Physical Chemistry. B 2006 December 21, 110 (50): 25163-73
Photoexcitation of a series of donor-bridge-acceptor (D-B-A) systems, where D = phenothiazine (PTZ), B = p-phenylene (Phn), n = 1-5, and A= perylene-3,4:9,10-bis(dicarboximide) (PDI) results in rapid electron transfer to produce 1(PTZ+*-Phn-PDI-*). Time-resolved EPR (TREPR) studies of the photogenerated radical pairs (RPs) show that above 150 K, when n = 2-5, the radical pair-intersystem crossing mechanism (RP-ISC) produces spin-correlated radical ion pairs having electron spin polarization patterns indicating that the spin-spin exchange interaction in the radical ion pair is positive, 2J > 0, and is temperature dependent. This temperature dependence is most likely due to structural changes of the p-phenylene bridge. Charge recombination in the RPs generates PTZ-Phn-3*PDI, which exhibits a spin-polarized signal similar to that observed in photosynthetic reaction-center proteins and some biomimetic systems. At temperatures below 150 K and/or at shorter donor-acceptor distances, e.g., when n = 1, PTZ-Phn-3*PDI is also formed from a competitive spin-orbit-intersystem crossing (SO-ISC) mechanism that is a result of direct charge recombination: 1(PTZ+*-Phn-PDI-*) --> PTZ-Phn-3*PDI. This SO-ISC mechanism requires the initial RP intermediate and depends strongly on the orientation of the molecular orbitals involved in the charge recombination as well as the magnitude of 2J.

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