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Ultrafast Dynamics of Nonrigid Zinc-Porphyrin Arrays Mimicking the Photosynthetic “Special Pair”

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posted on 21.04.2020 by Luca Moretti, Bryan Kudisch, Yuichi Terazono, Ana L. Moore, Thomas A. Moore, Devens Gust, Giulio Cerullo, Gregory D. Scholes, Margherita Maiuri
Conjugated porphyrin arrays are heavily investigated as efficient molecular systems for photosynthesis and photocatalysis. Recently, a series of one-, two-, and six-zinc-porphyrin arrays, noncovalently linked through benzene-based hubs, have been synthesized with the aim of mimicking the structure and function of the bacteriochlorophyll “special pair” in photosynthetic reaction centers. The excitonically coupled porphyrin subunits are expected to activate additional excited state relaxation channels with respect to the monomer. Here, we unveil the appearance of such supramolecular electronic interactions using ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy with sub-25 fs time resolution. Upon photoexcitation of the Soret band, we resolve energy trapping within ∼150 fs in a delocalized dark excitonic manifold. Moreover, excitonic interactions promote an additional fast internal conversion from the Q-band to the ground state with an efficiency of up to 60% in the hexamer. These relaxation pathways appear to be common loss channels that limit the lifetime of the exciton states in noncovalently bound molecular aggregates.

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