Temperature dependence of electronic coupling through oligo-p-phenyleneethynylene bridges
Journal article, 2008
A series of donor-bridge-acceptor (D-B-A) systems with varying donor–acceptor distances has been studied with respect to the temperature dependence of the triplet excitation energy transfer (TEET) rates. The donor and acceptor, zinc(II) and free-base porphyrin, respectively, were separated by oligo-p-phenyleneethynylene (OPE) bridges, where the number of phenyleneethynylene groups was varied between two and five, giving rise to edge-to-edge separations ranging between 12.7 and 33.4 Å. The study was performed in 2-MTHF between room temperature and 80 K. It was found that the distance dependence was exponential, in line with the McConnell model, and the attenuation factor, β, was temperature dependent. The experimentally determined temperature dependence of β was evaluated by using a previously derived model for the conformational dependence of the electronic coupling based on results from extensive quantum chemical, DFT and time-dependent DFT (TD-DFT), calculations. Two regimes in the temperature interval could be identified: one high-temperature, low-viscosity regime, and one low-temperature, high-viscosity regime. In the first regime, the temperature dependence of β was, according to the model, well described by a Boltzmann conformational distribution. In the latter, the molecular motions that govern the electronic coupling are slowed down to the same order of magnitude as the TEET rates. This, in effect, leads to a distortion of the conformational distribution. In the high-temperature regime the model could reproduce the temperature dependence of β, and the extracted rotational barrier between two neighboring phenyl units of the bridge structure, Ei=1.1 kJ mol−1, was in line with previous experimental and theoretical studies. After inclusion of parameters that take the viscosity of the medium into account, successful modeling of the experimentally observed temperature dependence of the distance dependence was achieved over the whole temperature interval.