Self-association and electron transfer in donor-acceptor dyads connected by meta-substituted oligomers

A. Molina-Ontoria, G. Fernandez, M. Wielopolski, C. Atienza, L. Sanchez, A. Gouloumis, Tim Clark, N. Martin, D. Guldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The synthesis of a new series of electron donor-acceptor conjugates (5, 10, 13, and 16) in which the electron acceptor--C(60)--and the electron donor--pi-extended tetrathiafulvalene (exTTF)--are bridged by means of m-phenyleneethynylene spacers of variable length is reported. The unexpected self-association of these hybrids was first detected to occur in the gas phase by means of MALDI-TOF spectrometry and subsequently corroborated in solution by utilizing concentration-dependent and variable-temperature (1)H NMR experiments. Furthermore, the ability of these new conjugates to form wirelike structures upon deposition onto a mica surface has been demonstrated by AFM spectroscopy. In light of their photoactivity and redoxactivity, 5, 10, 13, and 16 were probed in concentration-dependent photophysical experiments. Importantly, absorption and fluorescence revealed subtle dissimilarities for the association constants, that is, a dependence on the length of the m-phenylene spacers. The binding strength is in 5 greatly reduced when compared with those in 10, 13, and 16. Not only that, the spacer length also plays a decisive role in governing excited-state interactions in the corresponding electron donor-acceptor conjugates (5, 10, 13, and 16). To this end, 5, in which the photo- and electroactive constituents are bridged by just one aromatic ring, displays--exclusively and independent of the concentration (10(-6) to 10(-4) M)--efficient intramolecular electron transfer events on the basis of a "through-bond" mechanism. On the contrary, the lack of conjugation throughout the bridges in 10 (two m-phenyleneethynylene rings), 13 (three m-phenyleneethynylene rings), and 16 (four m-phenyleneethynylene rings) favors at low concentration (10(-6) M) "through space" intramolecular electron transfer events. These are, however, quite ineffective and, in turn, lead to excited-state deactivations that are at high concentrations (10(-4) M) dominated by intracomplex electron transfer events, namely, between exTTF of one molecule and C(60) of another molecule, and that stabilize the resulting radical ion pair state with lifetimes reaching 4.0 micros.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12218-122129
Number of pages109912
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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