Synergy of Electrostatic and π-π Interactions in the Realization of Nanoscale Artificial Photosynthetic Model Systems

Published on Jul 11, 2020in Angewandte Chemie12.959
· DOI :10.1002/ANIE.202006014
Tomás Torres97
Estimated H-index: 97
(UAM: Autonomous University of Madrid),
Eduardo Anaya-Plaza8
Estimated H-index: 8
(UAM: Autonomous University of Madrid)
+ 9 AuthorsDirk M. Guldi113
Estimated H-index: 113
(FAU: University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)
In the scientific race to build up photoactive electron donor-acceptor systems with increasing efficiencies, little is known about the interplay of their building blocks when integrated into supramolecular nanoscale arrays, particularly in aqueous environments. Here, we describe an aqueous donor-acceptor ensemble whose emergence as a nanoscale material renders it remarkably stable and efficient. We have focused on a tetracationic zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPc) featuring pyrenes, which shows an unprecedented mode of aggregation, driven by subtle cooperation between electrostatic and π-π interactions. Our studies demonstrate monocrystalline growth in solution and a symmetry-breaking intermolecular charge transfer between adjacent ZnPcs upon photoexcitation. Immobilizing a negatively charged fullerene (C 60 ) as electron acceptor onto the monocrystalline ZnPc assemblies was found to enhance the overall stability, and to suppress the energy-wasting charge recombination found in the absence of C 60 . Overall, the resulting artificial photosynthetic model system exhibits a high degree of preorganization, which facilitates efficient charge separation and subsequent charge transport.
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