Supramolecular Porous Organic Nanocomposites for Heterogeneous Photocatalysis of a Sulfur Mustard Simulant

Yassine Beldjoudi, Ahmet Atilgan, Jacob A. Weber, Indranil Roy, Ryan M. Young, Jierui Yu, Pravas Deria, Alan E. Enciso, Michael R. Wasielewski, Joseph T. Hupp*, J. Fraser Stoddart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Efficient heterogeneous photosensitizing materials require both large accessible surface areas and excitons of suitable energies and with well-defined spin structures. Confinement of the tetracationic cyclophane (ExBox4+) within a nonporous anionic polystyrene sulfonate (PSS) matrix leads to a surface area increase of up to 225 m2 g−1 in ExBox•PSS. Efficient intersystem crossing is achieved by combining the spin-orbit coupling associated to Br heavy atoms in 1,3,5,8-tetrabromopyrene (TBP), and the photoinduced electron transfer in a TBP⊂ExBox4+ supramolecular dyad. The TBP⊂ExBox4+ complex displays a charge transfer band at 450 nm and an exciplex emission at 520 nm, indicating the formation of new mixed-electronic states. The lowest triplet state (T1, 1.89 eV) is localized on the TBP and is close in energy with the charge separated state (CT, 2.14 eV). The homogeneous and heterogeneous photocatalytic activities of the TBP⊂ExBox4+, for the elimination of a sulfur mustard simulant, has proved to be significantly more efficient than TBP and ExBox+4, confirming the importance of the newly formed excited-state manifold in TBP⊂ExBox4+ for the population of the low-lying T1 state. The high stability, facile preparation, and high performance of the TBP⊂ExBox•PSS nanocomposites augur well for the future development of new supramolecular heterogeneous photosensitizers using host–guest chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2001592
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • cyclophanes
  • nanocomposites
  • photocatalysis
  • photosensitizers
  • polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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