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Quantum Amplified Isomerization in Polymers Based on Triplet Chain Reactions

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journal contribution
posted on 01.08.2008, 00:00 authored by Lorraine Ferrar, Mark Mis, Joseph P. Dinnocenzo, Samir Farid, Paul B. Merkel, Douglas R. Robello
Photoinitiated triplet quantum amplified isomerizations (QAI) of substituted Dewar benzene derivatives in polymeric media are reported. The quantum efficiencies and the ultimate extents of reactant-to-product conversions increase significantly with the incorporation of appropriate co-sensitizers; compounds whose triplet energies are similar to or lower than that of the sensitizer and close to that of the reactant. These co-sensitizers serve to promote chain-propagating energy transfer processes and thereby increase the action sphere of photosensitization. Isomerization quantum yields increase, as predicted, with increasing concentrations of the reactants and the co-sensitizers. Chain amplifications as large as ∼16 and extents of conversion that approach 100% have been achieved. Mechanistic schemes are proposed to account for the dynamics of the inherent energy transfer processes and provide a predictively useful model for the design of a new class of photoresponsive polymers based on changes in the refractive index of the materials.