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Singlet and Triplet Excited-State Interactions and Photochemical Reactivity of Phenyleneethynylene Oligomers

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journal contribution
posted on 04.05.2006, 00:00 by P. K. Sudeep, P. V. James, K. George Thomas, Prashant V. Kamat
The rigid rodlike character of phenyleneethynylenes and their ability to communicate charge/excitation energy over long distances have made them useful as molecular linkers in the light energy harvesting assemblies and molecular electronics devices. These linker molecules themselves possess rich photochemistry as evident from the relatively large yields of the excited singlet (0.5−0.66) and triplet (0.4−0.5) states of two model oligomers, 1,4-bis(phenylethynyl)-2,5-bis(hexyloxy)benzene (OPE-1) and 1,4-bis((4-phenylethynyl)phenylethynyl)-2,5-bis(hexyloxy)benzene (OPE-2). In particular, the long-lived triplet excited state is capable of undergoing deactivation by self-quenching processes such as ground-state quenching and triplet−triplet (T−T) annihilation. The T−T annihilation occurs with a nearly diffusion-controlled rate (∼2 × 109 M-1 s-1), and ground-state quenching occurs with a rate constant of ∼6 × 107 M-1 s-1. The electron transfer from the excited OPE-1 and OPE-2 to benzoquinone as characterized from the transient absorption spectroscopy illustrates the ability of these molecules to shuttle the electrons to acceptor moieties. In addition, pulse radiolysis experiments confirm the spectroscopic fingerprint of the cation radical (or “trapped hole”) with absorption bands in the 500−600 nm region.