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Interactions in Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes/Pyrene/Porphyrin Nanohybrids

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journal contribution
posted on 30.08.2006, 00:00 by Christian Ehli, G. M. Aminur Rahman, Norbert Jux, Domenico Balbinot, Dirk M. Guldi, Francesco Paolucci, Massimo Marcaccio, Demis Paolucci, Manuel Melle-Franco, Francesco Zerbetto, Stéphane Campidelli, Maurizio Prato
This work provides an in-depth look at a range of physicochemical aspects of (i) single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT), (ii) pyrene derivatives (pyrene+), (iii) porphyrin derivatives (ZnP8- and H2P8-), (iv) poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate), and (v) their combinations. Implicit in their supramolecular combinations is the hierarchical integration of SWNT (as electron acceptors), together with ZnP8- or H2P8- (as electron donors), in an aqueous environment mediated through pyrene+. This supramolecular approach yields novel electron donor−acceptor nanohybrids (SWNT/pyrene+/ZnP8- or SWNT/pyrene+/H2P8-). In particular, we report on electrochemical and photophysical investigations that as a whole suggest sizeable and appreciable interactions between the individual components. The key step to form SWNT/pyrene+/ZnP8- or SWNT/pyrene+/H2P8- hybrids is π−π interactions between SWNT and pyrene+, for which we have developed for the first time a sensitive marker. The marker is the monomeric pyrene fluorescence, which although quenched is (i) only present in SWNT/pyrene+ and (ii) completely lacking in just pyrene+. Electrostatic interactions help to immobilize ZnP8- or H2P8- onto SWNT/pyrene+ to yield the final electron donor−acceptor nanohybrids. A series of photochemical experiments confirm that long-lived radical ion pairs are formed as a product of a rapid excited-state deactivation of ZnP8- or H2P8-. This formation is fully rationalized on the basis of the properties of the individual moieties. Additional modeling shows that the data are likely to be relevant to the SWNTs present in the sample, which possess wider diameters.