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Dalton Trans. 2012 Mar 21;41(11):3123-5. doi: 10.1039/c2dt12264b. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

Two-photon absorption of metal-organic DNA-probes.

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  • 1Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.


We report remarkable multiphoton absorption properties of DNA intercalating ruthenium complexes: (1) [Ru(phen)(2)dppz](2+); (2) [(11,11'-bidppz)(phen)(4)Ru(2)](4+); (3) [11,11'-bipb(phen)(4)Ru(2)](4+). Two-photon spectra in the range from 460 to 1100 nm were measured using the Z-scan technique. In particular, complex 2 was found to exhibit very strong two- and three-photon absorption properties, which could be an effect of symmetric charge transfer from the ends towards the middle of the conjugated dimeric orbital system. We propose that these molecules could provide a new generation of DNA binding nonlinear chromophores for wide applications in biology and material science. The combination of a large two-photon cross section and strong luminescence quantum yields for the molecules when intercalated makes the compounds uniquely bright and photo-stable probes for two-photon luminescence imaging and also promising as enhanced photosensitizers in two-photon sensitizing applications.

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