Efficient exciton transport in layers of self-assembled porphyrin derivatives

Annemarie Huijser, Bart M. J. M. Suijkerbuijk, Robertus J. M. Klein Gebbink, Tom J. Savenije, Laurens D. A. Siebbeles

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68 Citations (Scopus)


The photosynthetic apparatus of green sulfur bacteria, the chlorosome, is generally considered as a highly efficient natural light-harvesting system. The efficient exciton transport through chlorosomes toward the reaction centers originates from self-assembly of the bacteriochlorophyll molecules. The aim of the present work is to realize a long exciton diffusion length in an artificial light-harvesting system using the concept of self-assembled natural chlorosomal chromophores. The ability to transport excitons is studied for porphyrin derivatives with different tendencies to form molecular stacks by self-assembly. A porphyrin derivative denoted as ZnOP, containing methoxymethyl substituents ({meso-tetrakis[3,5-bis(methoxymethyl)phenyl]porphyrinato}zinc(II)) is found to form self-assembled stacks, in contrast to a derivative with tert-butyl substituents, ZnBuP ({meso-tetrakis[3,5-bis(tert-butyl)phenyl]porphyrinato}zinc(II)). Exciton transport and dissociation in a bilayer of these porphyrin derivatives and TiO2 are studied using the time-resolved microwave conductivity (TRMC) method. For ZnOP layers it is found that excitons undergo diffusive motion between the self-assembled stacks, with the exciton diffusion length being as long as 15 ± 1 nm, which is comparable to that in natural chlorosomes. For ZnBuP a considerably shorter exciton diffusion length of 3 ± 1 nm is found. Combining these exciton diffusion lengths with exciton lifetimes of 160 ps for ZnOP and 74 ps for ZnBuP yields exciton diffusion coefficients equal to 1.4 × 10-6 m2/s and 1 × 10-7 m2/s, respectively. The larger exciton diffusion coefficient for ZnOP originates from a strong excitonic coupling for interstack energy transfer. The findings show that energy transfer is strongly affected by the molecular organization. The efficient interstack energy transfer shows promising prospects for application of such self-assembled porphyrins in optoelectronics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2485-2492
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

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