Triplet photophysics of gold(III) porphyrins
Journal article, 2005
Gold porphyrins are often used as electron-accepting chromophores in donor-acceptor complexes for the study of photoinduced electron transfer, and they can also be involved in triplet-triplet energy-transfer interactions with other chromophores. Since the lowest excited singlet state is very short-lived (240 fs), the triplet state is usually the starting point for the transfer reactions, and it is therefore crucial to understand its photophysics. The triplet state of various gold porphyrins has been reported to have a lifetime of around 1.5 ns at room temperature and to have a biexponential decay both in emission and in transient absorption with decay times of around 10 and 100,us at 80 K. In this paper, the triplet photophysics of two gold porphyrins (Au-III 5,15-bis(3,5-di-tert-butylphenyl)-2,8,12,18-tetraethyl-3,7,13,17-tetrame thylporphyrin and Au-III 5,10,15,20-tetra(3,5-di-tert-butylphenyl)porphyrin) are studied by steady-state and time-resolved absorption and emission spectroscopy over a wide temperature range (4-300 K). The study reveals the existence of a dark state with an approximate lifetime of 50 ns, which was not previously observed. This state acts as an intermediate between the short-lived singlet and the triplet state manifold. In addition, we present DFT calculations, in which the core electrons of the central metal were replaced by a pseudopotential to account for the relativistic effects, which suggest that the lowest excited singlet state is an optically forbidden ligand-to-metal charge-transfer (LMCT) state. This LMCT state is an obvious candidate for the experimentally observed dark state, and it is shown to dictate the photophysical properties of gold porphyrins by acting as a gate for triplet state formation versus direct return to the ground state.