Two-photon study on the electronic interactions between the first excited singlet states in carotenoid - Tetrapyrrole dyads

Pen Nan Liao, Smitha Pillai, Devens Gust, Thomas Moore, Ana Moore, Peter J. Walla

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34 Scopus citations


Electronic interactions between the first excited states (S1) of carotenoids (Car) of different conjugation lengths (8 - 11 double bonds) and phthalocyanines (Pc) in different Car - Pc dyad molecules were investigated by two-photon spectroscopy and compared with Car S1 - chlorophyll (Chl) interactions in photosynthetic light harvesting complexes (LHCs). The observation of Chl/Pc fluorescence after selective two-photon excitation of the Car S1 state allowed sensitive monitoring of the flow of energy between Car S1 and Pc or Chl. It is found that two-photon excitation excites to about 80% to 100% exclusively the carotenoid state Car S1 and that only a small fraction of direct tetrapyrrole two-photon excitation occurs. Amide-linked Car - Pc dyads in tetrahydrofuran demonstrate a molecular gear shift mechanism in that effective Car S1 → Pc energy transfer is observed in a dyad with 9 double bonds in the carotenoid, whereas in similar dyads with 11 double bonds in the carotenoid, the Pc fluorescence is strongly quenched by Pc → Car S1 energy transfer. In phenylamino-linked Car - Pc dyads in toluene extremely large electronic interactions between the Car S1 state and Pc were observed, particularly in the case of a dyad in which the carotenoid contained 10 double bonds. This observation together with previous findings in the same system provides strong evidence for excitonic Car S1 - Pc Qy interactions. Very similar results were observed with photosynthetic LHC II complexes in the past, supporting an important role of such interactions in photosynthetic down-regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4082-4091
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 28 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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