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Spectral and Structural Variations of Biomimetic Light-Harvesting Nanotubes

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journal contribution
posted on 06.05.2019, 00:00 by A. Löhner, T. Kunsel, M. I. S. Röhr, T. L. C. Jansen, S. Sengupta, F. Würthner, J. Knoester, J. Köhler
Bioinspired, self-assembled nanotubes have been investigated by low-temperature, polarization-resolved single-tube spectroscopy. These assemblies are based on zinc chlorin monomers and are considered as model systems that resemble the secondary structural elements in the natural light-harvesting systems of green (non)sulfur bacteria. Compared to the natural systems, the spectral parameters extracted from the single-nanotube spectra feature distributions with significantly smaller widths, which is ascribed to a tremendous reduction of structural heterogeneity in the artificial systems. Employing quantum chemical molecular modeling the spectra of individual nanotubes can be explained consistently only for a molecular packing model that is fundamentally different from those considered so far for the natural systems. Subsequent theoretical simulations reveal that the remaining spectral variations between single nanotubes can be traced back to small variations of the mutual orientations of the monomer transition dipole moments that are far beyond the resolving power of high-resolution electron microscopy imaging techniques.