Singlet-singlet energy transfer in self-assembled systems of the cationic poly{9,9-bis[6-N,N,N-trimethylammonium)hexyl]fluorene-co-1,4-phenylene} with oppositely charged porphyrins

Sara M Pinto, Hugh D Burrows, Mariette M Pereira, Sofia M Fonseca, Fernando B Dias, Ricardo Mallavia, Maria J Tapia
Journal of Physical Chemistry. B 2009 December 17, 113 (50): 16093-100
Electronic energy transfer has been studied between the cationic conjugated polyelectrolyte, poly{9,9-bis[6-N,N,N-trimethylammonium)hexyl]fluorene-co-1,4-phenylene} dibromide (HTMA-PFP), and three, oppositely charged meso-tetrakis-phenylporphyrinsulfonates in buffered (pH = 9.2), 4% (v/v) dimethyl sulfoxide-water (DMSO-water) solutions using steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence. Energy transfer was indicated by the decrease in intensity of the fluorescence band of the HTMA-PFP donor, by a corresponding increase in fluorescence of the porphyrin acceptors, by a band in the excitation spectrum of the porphyrin corresponding to the polymer absorption, and by the fact that the decay of the polymer emission observed at 423 nm was accompanied by the grow-in of porphyrin emission at 650 nm in time-resolved measurements. It is suggested that the energy transfer may involve upper excited states of the acceptor. The Förster equation and the experimental spectral overlap between donor fluorescence and acceptor absorption were used to calculate Förster radii for the three systems. Both steady-state and dynamic Stern-Volmer plots were nonlinear at high acceptor concentrations, and quenching rate constants calculated from the slopes of the initial linear region and the HTMA-PFP fluorescence lifetime were orders of magnitude greater than expected for a diffusion-controlled process, strongly supporting the idea that energy transfer occurs in self-assembled species formed by association (through ion pairing) of the polymer and porphyrins. There are indications that these aggregates involve more than one polymer chain. Picosecond time-resolved measurements on the HTMA-PFP fluorescence decay showed a short-lived component, attributed to the energy-transfer step, and two longer lived decays, which may be associated with exciton migration along the chain and the fluorescence decay of the polymer backbone, respectively. From considerations of the probable distance between donor and acceptor it is suggested that the Forster mechanism, assuming point dipoles, is inadequate for this system and that more detailed calculations, considering the actual sizes of the donor and acceptor, are necessary.

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