Efficient energy transfer and electron transfer in an artificial photosynthetic antenna-reaction center complex

Gerdenis Kodis, Paul A. Liddell, Linda De la Garza, P. Christian Clausen, Jonathan S. Lindsey, Ana Moore, Thomas Moore, Devens Gust

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A highly efficient functional mimic of a photosynthetic antenna-reaction center complex has been designed, synthesized, and studied spectroscopically. The antenna, consisting of four covalently linked zinc tetraarylporphyrins, (PZP)3-PZC, has been coupled to a free-base porphyrin-fullerene artificial photosynthetic reaction center, P-C60, to form a (PZP)3-PZC-P-C60 hexad. As revealed by time-resolved absorption and emission studies in 2-methyltetrahydrofuran solution at ambient temperature, excitation of a peripheral zinc porphyrin moiety is followed by singlet-singlet energy transfer to the central zinc porphyrin to give (PZP)3-1PZC-P-C60 with a time constant of 50 ps. The excitation is passed on to the free-base porphyrin in 32 ps to produce (PZP)3-PZC-1P-C60, which decays by electron transfer to the fullerene with a time constant of 25 ps. The resulting (PZP)3-PZC-P.+-C60.- charge-separated state is generated with a quantum yield of 0.98 based on light absorbed by the porphyrin antenna. Direct excitation of the free-base porphyrin moiety or the fullerene also generates this state with a yield near unity. Thermodynamically favorable migration of positive charge into the zinc porphyrin array transforms the initial state into a long-lived ((PZP)3-PZC).+-P-C60 .- charge-separated state with a time constant of 380 ps. The final charge-separated state, formed in high yield (∼0.90), decays to the ground state with a lifetime of 240 ns. In benzonitrile, the lifetime is 25 μs. A previous hexad, which differs from the current hexad solely in the nature of the free-base porphyrin, gave a charge-separated state with a lower yield (0.69) and a shorter lifetime (1.3 ns). The difference in performance is attributed to differences in electronic composition (a2u versus a1u HOMO), conformation, and oxidation potential (1.05 versus 0.84 V) between the meso-tetraarylporphyrin and the β-octaalkylporphyrin of the current and former hexads, respectively. These results can be explained on the basis of an understanding of factors that affect through-bond energy-transfer and electron-transfer processes. The results demonstrate that it is possible to design and prepare synthetic, porphyrin-based antenna-reaction center complexes that mimic the basic photochemical functions of natural photosynthetic light-harvesting antennas and reaction centers in simple, structurally well-defined constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2036-2048
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 14 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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