Synthesis and excited-state photodynamics of a chlorin-bacteriochlorin dyad—through-space versus through-bond energy transfer in tetrapyrrole arrays

Chinnasamy Muthiah, Hooi Ling Kee, James R Diers, Dazhong Fan, Marcin Ptaszek, David F Bocian, Dewey Holten, Jonathan S Lindsey
Photochemistry and Photobiology 2008, 84 (3): 786-801
Understanding energy transfer among hydroporphyrins is of fundamental interest and essential for a wide variety of photochemical applications. Toward this goal, a synthetic free base ethynylphenylchlorin has been coupled with a synthetic free base bromobacteriochlorin to give a phenylethyne-linked chlorin-bacteriochlorin dyad (FbC-pe-FbB). The chlorin and bacteriochlorin are each stable toward adventitious oxidation because of the presence of a geminal dimethyl group in each reduced pyrrole ring. A combination of static and transient optical spectroscopic studies indicate that excitation into the Qy band of the chlorin constituent (675 nm) of FbC-pe-FbB in toluene results in rapid energy transfer to the bacteriochlorin constituent with a rate of approximately (5 ps)(-1) and efficiency of >99%. The excited bacteriochlorin resulting from the energy-transfer process in FbC-pe-FbB has essentially the same fluorescence characteristics as an isolated monomeric reference compound, namely a narrow (12 nm fwhm) fluorescence emission band at 760 nm and a long-lived (5.4 ns) Qy excited state that exhibits a significant fluorescence quantum yield (Phif=0.19). Förster calculations are consistent with energy transfer in FbC-pe-FbB occurring predominantly by a through-space mechanism. The energy-transfer characteristics of FbC-pe-FbB are compared with those previously obtained for analogous phenylethyne-linked dyads consisting of two porphyrins or two oxochlorins. The comparisons among the sets of dyads are facilitated by density functional theory calculations that elucidate the molecular-orbital characteristics of the energy donor and acceptor constituents. The electron-density distributions in the frontier molecular orbitals provide insights into the through-bond electronic interactions that can also contribute to the energy-transfer process in the different types of dyads.

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