Photoselective DNA hairpin spin switches

Raanan Carmieli*, Arun K. Thazhathveetil, Frederick D. Lewis, Michael R. Wasielewski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


DNA hairpins having both a tethered anthraquinone (Aq) end-capping group and a perylenediimide (PDI) base surrogate were synthesized, wherein Aq and PDI are each separated from a G-C base pair hole trap by A-T and I-C base pairs (G = guanine, A = adenine, T= thymine, C = cytosine, I = inosine). Selective photoexcitation of PDI at 532 nm generates a singlet radical ion pair (RP), 1(G+•-PDI-•), while selective photoexcitation of Aq at 355 nm generates the corresponding triplet RP, 3(G+•-Aq-•). Subsequent radical pair intersystem crossing within these spin-correlated RPs leads to mixed spin states that exhibit spin-polarized, time-resolved EPR spectra in which the singlet- and triplet-initiated RPs have opposite phases. These results demonstrate that a carefully designed DNA hairpin can serve as a photodriven molecular spin switch based on wavelength-selective formation of the singlet or triplet RP without significant competition from undesired energy transfer processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10970-10973
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 31 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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