Spin Polarization Transfer from a Photogenerated Radical Ion Pair to a Stable Radical Controlled by Charge Recombination

Noah E. Horwitz, Brian T. Phelan, Jordan N. Nelson, Catherine M. Mauck, Matthew D. Krzyaniak, Michael R. Wasielewski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Photoexcitation of electron donor-acceptor molecules frequently produces radical ion pairs with well-defined initial spin-polarized states that have attracted significant interest for spintronics. Transfer of this initial spin polarization to a stable radical is predicted to depend on the rates of the radical ion pair recombination reactions, but this prediction has not been tested experimentally. In this study, a stable radical/electron donor/chromophore/electron acceptor molecule, BDPA-mPD-ANI-NDI, where BDPA is α,γ-bisdiphenylene-β-phenylallyl, mPD is m-phenylenediamine, ANI is 4-aminonaphthalene-1,8-dicarboximide, and NDI is naphthalene-1,4:5,8-bis(dicarboximide), was synthesized. Photoexcitation of ANI produces the triradical BDPA-mPD+•-ANI-NDI-• in which the mPD+•-ANI-NDI-• radical ion pair is spin coupled to the BDPA stable radical. BDPA-mPD+•-ANI-NDI-• and its counterpart lacking the stable radical are found to exhibit spin-selective charge recombination in which the triplet radical ion pair 3(mPD+•-ANI-NDI-•) is in equilibrium with the 3∗NDI charge recombination product. Time-resolved EPR measurements show that this process is associated with an inversion of the sign of the polarization transferred to BDPA over time. The polarization transfer rates are found to be strongly solvent dependent, as shifts in this equilibrium affect the spin dynamics. These results demonstrate that even small changes in electron transfer dynamics can have a large effect on the spin dynamics of photogenerated multispin systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4455-4463
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 15 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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