STUDIES OF CHLOROPHYLL‐CHLOROPHYLL AND CHLOROPHYLL‐LIGAND INTERACTIONS BY VISIBLE ABSORPTION AND INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY AT LOW TEMPERATURES

T. M. Cotton*, Paul A Loach, J. J. Katz, K. Ballschmiter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

Abstract— A comparison of the visible absorption and infrared spectra of various chlorophyll‐chlorophyll (Chl) and Chi‐nucleophile aggregates at room temperature and at low temperatures has been made. The IR data provide structural information indispensable for the interpretation of the visible spectra. As a necessary preliminary, it is shown that Chl a solutions in nonpolar solvents can be prepared by appropriate drying techniques that contain at a conservative estimate ≤ 3 mol % of water (i.e. Chl a/H2O > 30:1). Very dry solutions of Chl a or Pyrochl a(≥ 10 mM) in toluene or methylcyclohexane‐isopentane solution show only slight changes in visible spectra on cooling to 77 K. From IR, additional Chl‐Chl aggregation occurs on cooling in methylcyclohexane‐isopentane but not to a significant extent in toluene. Dilute (10 μM) solutions of Chl a or Pyrochl a in nonpolar solvents form a new absorption peak near 700 nm at low temperatures, which we attribute to traces of water in the solvent or other residual nucleophiles not removed during the Chl purification. Addition of stoichiometric amounts of water increases the size of the ˜700 nm peak even in dilute Chl solutions. Chlorophyll a, Pyrochl a, but not pheophytin a are shown to interact with nucleophiles of the general type RXH (where R= H or alkyl, and X = O, N, or S). Such nucleophiles can coordinate to the Mg atom of one Chl molecule by lone pairs on O, N, or S, and hydrogen bond to oxygen donor functions in another Chl molecule. A ˜0.1 M solution of Chl a or Pyrochl a in toluene containing 1.5 equivalents of ethanol is converted almost entirely to a species absorbing at ˜700 nm at 77 K. Infrared spectroscopy shows conclusively that it is the keto C=O function that is involved in the cross‐linking by hydrogen bonding, a conclusion supported by the observation that Pyrochl a forms a very similar red‐shifted species at low temperatures, despite the absence of a carbomethoxy C=O function. n‐Butylamine and ethanethiol interact in much the same way as does ethanol to form species red shifted to ˜700 nm. A variety of possible structures for the low temperature forms is discussed, and the use of these red shifted species as paradigms for photoreaction center Chl is described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-749
Number of pages15
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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