Carotenoid photoprotection in artificial photosynthetic antennas

Miroslav Kloz, Smitha Pillai, Gerdenis Kodis, Devens Gust, Thomas Moore, Ana Moore, Rienk Van Grondelle, John T M Kennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


A series of phthalocyanine-carotenoid dyads in which a phenylamino group links a phthalocyanine to carotenoids having 8- backbone double bonds were examined by visible and near-infrared femtosecond pump-robe spectroscopy combined with global fitting analysis. The series of molecules has permitted investigation of the role of carotenoids in the quenching of excited states of cyclic tetrapyrroles. The transient behavior varied dramatically with the length of the carotenoid and the solvent environment. Clear spectroscopic signatures of radical species revealed photoinduced electron transfer as the main quenching mechanism for all dyads dissolved in a polar solvent (THF), and the quenching rate was almost independent of carotenoid length. However, in a nonpolar solvent (toluene), quenching rates displayed a strong dependence on the conjugation length of the carotenoid and the mechanismdid not include charge separation. The lack of any rise time components of a carotenoid S1 signature in all experiments in toluene suggests that an excitonic coupling between the carotenoid S1 state and phthalocyanine Q state, rather than a conventional energy transfer process, is the major mechanismof quenching. A pronounced inhomogeneity of the system was observed and attributed to the presence of a phenyl-amino linker between phthalocyanine and carotenoids. On the basis of accumulated work on various caroteno-hthalocyanine dyads and triads, we have now identified three mechanisms of tetrapyrrole singlet excited state quenching by carotenoids in artificial systems: (1) (i) Car-Pc electron transfer and recombination; (ii)1 Pc to Car S1 energy transfer and fast internal conversion to the Car ground state; (iii) excitonic coupling between 1Pc and Car S1 and ensuing internal conversion to the ground state of the carotenoid. The dominant mechanism depends upon the exact molecular architecture and solvent environment. These synthetic systems are providing a deeper understanding of structural and environmental effects on the interactions between carotenoids and tetrapyrroles and thereby better defining their role in controlling natural photosynthetic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7007-7015
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 11 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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