Carotenoid Photoprotection in Artificial Photosynthetic Antennas

Authors: Kloz, M., Pillai, S., Kodis, G., Gust, D., Moore, T. A., Moore, A. L., van Grondelle, R., and Kennis, J. T. M.
Title: Carotenoid Photoprotection in Artificial Photosynthetic Antennas
Source: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Year: 2011
Volume: 133
Pages: 7007-7015


A series of phthalocyanine−carotenoid dyads in which a phenylamino group links a phthalocyanine to carotenoids having 8−11 backbone double bonds were examined by visible and near-infrared femtosecond pump−probe spectroscopy combined with global fitting analysis. The series of molecules has permitted investigation of the role of carotenoids in the quenching of excited states of cyclic tetrapyrroles. The transient behavior varied dramatically with the length of the carotenoid and the solvent environment. Clear spectroscopic signatures of radical species revealed photoinduced electron transfer as the main quenching mechanism for all dyads dissolved in a polar solvent (THF), and the quenching rate was almost independent of carotenoid length. However, in a nonpolar solvent (toluene), quenching rates displayed a strong dependence on the conjugation length of the carotenoid and the mechanism did not include charge separation. The lack of any rise time components of a carotenoid S1 signature in all experiments in toluene suggests that an excitonic coupling between the carotenoid S1 state and phthalocyanine Q state, rather than a conventional energy transfer process, is the major mechanism of quenching. A pronounced inhomogeneity of the system was observed and attributed to the presence of a phenyl-amino linker between phthalocyanine and carotenoids. On the basis of accumulated work on various caroteno−phthalocyanine dyads and triads, we have now identified three mechanisms of tetrapyrrole singlet excited state quenching by carotenoids in artificial systems: (i) Car−Pc electron transfer and recombination; (ii)1 Pc to Car S1 energy transfer and fast internal conversion to the Car ground state; (iii) excitonic coupling between 1Pc and Car S1 and ensuing internal conversion to the ground state of the carotenoid. The dominant mechanism depends upon the exact molecular architecture and solvent environment. These synthetic systems are providing a deeper understanding of structural and environmental effects on the interactions between carotenoids and tetrapyrroles and thereby better defining their role in controlling natural photosynthetic systems.

Date of online publication: Thu, 2011-04-14
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