Spin-selective charge transport pathways through p-oligophenylene-linked donor-bridge-acceptor molecules

Amy M. Scott, Tomoaki Miura, Annie Butler Ricks, Zachary E.X. Dance, Emilie M. Giacobbe, Michael T. Colvin, Michael R. Wasielewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


A series of donor-bridge-acceptor (D-B-A) triads have been synthesized in which the donor, 3,5-dimethyl-4-(9-anthracenyl)julolidine (DMJ-An), and the acceptor, naphthalene-1,8:4,5-bis(dicarboximide) (NI), are linked by p-oligophenylene (Phn) bridging units (n = 1-5). Photoexcitation of DMJ-An produces DMJ+•-An-• quantitatively, so that An--• acts as a high potential electron donor, which rapidly transfers an electron to NI yielding a long-lived spin-coherent radical ion pair (DMJ+•-An-Phn-NI-•). The charge transfer properties of 1-5 have been studied using transient absorption spectroscopy, magnetic field effects (MFEs) on radical pair and triplet yields, and time-resolved electron paramagnetic resonance (TREPR) spectroscopy. The charge separation (CS) and recombination (CR) reactions exhibit exponential distance dependencies with damping coefficients of β = 0.35 Å-1 and 0.34 Å-1, respectively. Based on these data, a change in mechanism from superexchange to hopping was not observed for either process in this system. However, the CR reaction is spin-selective and produces the singlet ground state and both 3*An and 3*NI. A kinetic analysis of the MFE data shows that superexchange dominates both pathways with β = 0.48 Å-1 for the singlet CR pathway and β = 0.35 Å-1 for the triplet CR pathway. MFEs and TREPR experiments were used to measure the spin-spin exchange interaction, 2J, which is directly related to the electronic coupling matrix element for CR, VCR2. The magnitude of 2J also shows an exponential distance dependence with a damping coefficient α = 0.36 Å-1, which agrees with the β values obtained from the distance dependence for triplet CR. These results were analyzed in terms of the bridge molecular orbitals that participate in the charge transport mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17655-17666
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number48
StatePublished - Dec 9 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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