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Dynamics of Intramolecular Energy Hopping in Multi-Bodipy Self-Assembled Metallocyclic Species: A Tool for Probing Subtle Structural Distortions in Solution

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journal contribution
posted on 15.02.2017 by Elisabeth Martinou, Kostas Seintis, Nikolaos Karakostas, Anna Bletsou, Nikolaos S. Thomaidis, Mihalis Fakis, George Pistolis
The intramolecular excitation energy transfer (EET) processes in a series of fluorescent-unquenched, self-assembled metallocycles consisting of spatially fixed-separated and parallel-aligned Bodipy chromophores, are investigated here by steady-state and femtosecond-fluorescence upconversion measurements in the solution phase. These multi-Bodipy macrocycles, namely, the rhomboid (A1), the tetragon (A2) and the hexagon (A3), are formed via temperature-regulated Pt­(II)–pyridyl coordination and consist, respectively, of two, four, and six Bodipy subunits, which are locked at the corners and aligned with their long molecular axes perpendicular to the rigid polygonal frame formed by the alternating B···Pt­(II) connectivities. Extensive simulations and fits to the experimental fluorescence anisotropy decays r(t) show that EET within the cyclic scaffolds is quite uniform and much faster than the intrinsic decay rate of the Bodipy’s. The equalization of the excitation survival probabilities over time of all chromophores is found to be dependent upon the size of the macrocycle. From the observed dynamics supported by geometry optimization calculations, it is concluded that, in contrast to the model compound A1, in the large macrocycles the perfect parallel orientation of the Bodipy dipoles is lifted through limited out-of-plane distortions of the metallocyclic framework from a planar conformation. Additionally, we show that, as opposed to analogous covalent macrocycles, the survival probability of excitons as well as the degree of symmetry distortion and homogeneity in dipole spacing remains nearly intact as the size of the macrocycle increases from tetragon to hexagon.