Hopping versus Tunneling Mechanism for Long-Range Electron Transfer in Porphyrin Oligomer Bridged Donor-Acceptor Systems
Journal article, 2015
Achieving long-range charge transport in molecular systems is interesting to foresee applications of molecules in practical devices. However, designing molecular systems with pre-defined wire-like properties remains difficult due to the lack of understanding of the mechanism for charge transfer. Here we investigate a series of porphyrin oligomer-bridged donor–acceptor systems Fc–Pn–C60 (n = 1–4, 6). In these triads, excitation of the porphyrin-based bridge generates the fully charge-separated state, Fc•+–Pn–C60•-, through a sequence of electron transfer steps. Temperature dependence of both charge separation (Fc–Pn*–C60 → Fc–Pn•+–C60•-) and recombination (Fc•+–Pn–C60•– → Fc–Pn–C60) processes was probed by time-resolved fluorescence and femtosecond transient absorption. In the long triads, two mechanisms contribute to recombination of Fc•+–Pn–C60•– to the ground state. At high temperatures (≥280 K), recombination via tunneling dominates for the entire series. At low temperatures (<280 K), unusual crossover from tunneling to hopping occurs in long triads. This crossover is rationalized by the increased lifetimes of Fc•+–Pn–C60•–, hence the higher probability of reforming Fc–Pn•+–C60•– during recombination. We demonstrate that at 300 K, the weak distance dependence for charge transfer (β = 0.028 Å–1) relies on tunneling rather than hopping.