Biomolecular electron transfer under high hydrostatic pressure

Märt Tars, Aleksandr Ellervee, Michael R. Wasielewski, Arvi Freiberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The dependence of the photoinduced electron transfer rate on hydrostatic pressure up to 8 kbar was studied at 295 K in a bridged Zn-porphyrin donor and pyromellitimide acceptor supermolecule dissolved in toluene. A picosecond fluorescence emission kinetics of the donor, limited by the electron transfer rate, was detected by using synchroscan streak camera. The experiment was complemented with model calculations based on modified classical and semi-classical nonadiabatic electron transfer theory. A peculiar asymmetric inverted parabola-like dependence of the electron transfer rate on pressure was observed. The dependence was successfully reproduced by nonadiabatic theory in the high-temperature limit assuming that the reorganisation free energy or both the reorganisation free energy and the reaction driving force (linearly) changed with pressure. The reaction driving force dependence on pressure alone failed to explain the asymmetry, suggesting that the electron transfer was accompanied with vibration frequency changes. It was inferred that the effective frequency in the product state should be larger than in the reactant state. The usage of the nonadiabatic theory is well justified due to the fulfilment of the inequalities V≪kBT and V≪〈τL-1 (V is the electronic coupling matrix element, 〈τL-1 is the solvent relaxation rate). The influence of the donor-acceptor distance reduction under compression on the electron transfer rate was found to be minor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1177-1189
Number of pages13
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 15 1998


  • Donor-acceptor complexes
  • Electron transfer
  • High pressure
  • Picosecond time-resolved fluorescence
  • Porphyrins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


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