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Org Biomol Chem. 2004 May 21;2(10):1425-33. Epub 2004 Apr 26.

Porphyrin-fullerene linked systems as artificial photosynthetic mimics.

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Department of Molecular Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, PRESTO, JAPAN Science and Technology Agency (JST), Katsura, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8510, Japan.


We have prepared a variety of porphyrin-fullerene linked systems to mimic photoinduced energy and electron transfer (ET) processes in photosynthesis. Photodynamical studies on porphyrin and analogs-fullerene linked systems have revealed the acceleration of photoinduced electron transfer and charge-shift and the deceleration of charge recombination, which is reasonably explained by the small reorganization energies of electron transfer in fullerenes. In this context, we have proposed two strategies, photoinduced single-step and multi-step electron transfers, for prolonging the lifetime of a charge-separated state in donor-acceptor linked systems. The single-step ET strategy allowed a zinc chlorin-fullerene linked dyad to extend the lifetime up to 120 seconds in frozen PhCN at 123 K, which is the longest value of charge separation ever reported for donor-acceptor linked systems. Unfortunately, however, the quantum yield of formation of the charge-separated state was as low as 12%, probably due to the decay of the precursor exciplex state to the ground state rather than to the favorable complete charge-separated state. In contrast, the multi-step ET strategy has been successfully applied to porphyrin-fullerene linked triads, tetrads, and a pentad. In particular, a ferrocene-porphyrin trimer-fullerene pentad revealed formation of a long-lived charge-separated state (0.53 s in frozen DMF at 163 K) with an extremely high quantum yield (83%), which is comparable to natural bacterial reaction centers. These results not only provide valuable information for a better understanding of photoinduced energy and electron transfer processes in photosynthesis, but also open the door for the development of photoinitiated molecular devices and machines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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