Journal of Physical Chemistry A

Structural induced control of energy transfer within Zn(II) - Porphyrin dendrimers

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We report on a study of singlet-singlet annihilation kinetics in a series of Zn(II)-porphyrin-appended dendrimers, where the energy transfer efficiency is significantly improved by extending the molecular chain that connects the light-harvesting chromophores to the dendrimeric backbone with one additional carbon. For the largest dendrimer having 64 Zn(II)-porphyrins, only ∼10% of the excitation intensity is needed in order to observe the same extent of annihilation in the dendrimers with the additional carbon in the connecting chain as compared to those without. Complete annihilation, until only one chromophore remains excited, now occurs within subunits of seven chromophores, when half of the chromophores are excited. The improvement of the annihilation efficiency in the largest dendrimer with 64 porphyrins can be explained by the presence of a the two-step delayed annihilation process, involving energy hopping from excited to nonexcited chromophores prior to annihilation. In the smallest dendrimer with only four chromophores, delayed annihilation is not present, since the direct annihilation process is more efficient than the two-step delayed annihilation process. As the dendrimer size increases and the chances of originally exciting two neighboring chromophores decreases, the delayed annihilation process becomes more visible. The additional carbon, added to the connecting chain, results in more favorable chromophore distances and orientations for energy hopping. Hence, the improved energy transfer properties makes the Zn(II)-porphyrin-appended dendrimers with the additional carbon promising candidates as light-harvesting antennas for artificial photosynthesis. © 2007 American Chemical Society.