Dynamics of superexchange photoinduced electron transfer in duplex DNA

Frederick D. Lewis*, Yansheng Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Photoinduced electron transfer (PET) in DNA can occur via one of two mechanisms, single-step superexchange and multi-step hole hopping. The dynamics of superexchange charge separation and charge recombination has recently been investigated in several structurally well-defined systems. In each of these systems, an electron acceptor is separated from a guanine or deazaguanine nucleobase donor by a variable number of A:T base pairs. The results of experimental studies on these and related systems are presented and analyzed within the framework of semi-classical electron transfer theory. Comparison of the results with those for other bridge-mediated electron transfer systems indicates that the π-stacked bases of DNA provide a better medium for electron transfer than the sigma bonded pathways of proteins and saturated hydrocarbons but do not function as a molecular wire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology C: Photochemistry Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 17 2001


  • Duplex DNA
  • Photoinduced electron transfer
  • π-Stacked array

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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