Two approaches to eliciting photoelectrochemical reactions from carotenoids are being pursued. One uses LB films of amphipathic carotenoids deposited on semiconducting electrodes which are immersed in electrolytes containing electron donors or acceptors. Photocurrents are observed and their action spectra implicate the excited carotenoid pigment, possibly in an aggregated form, as the photoactive species. An example of the second approach is a molecular dyad consisting of a carotenoid covalently linked to C60. Excitation of the carotenoid moiety generates a charge-separated species in high yield. More complex systems include a molecular triad (C-P-Q) containing a porphyrin moiety (P) linked to a quinone (Q) and to a carotenoid (C). Triads of this type have been incorporated unidirectionally into lipid bilayer membranes. Time-resolved fluorescence experiments reveal that excitation of C-P-Q in the membrane leads to electron transfer from 1P to give C-P•+-Q•-. A subsequent electron transfer from C to P•+ yields C•+-P-Q•-. In this species the carotenoid pigment acts as a molecular wire to conduct charge across the membrane. In the presence of appropriate cofactors, this system translocates protons across the bilayer lipid membrane and generates proton motive force.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)