In order to ensure efficient utilization of the solar spectrum, photosynthetic organisms use a variety of antenna chromophores to absorb light and transfer excitation to a reaction center, where photoinduced charge separation occurs. Reported here is a synthetic molecular heptad that features two bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene and two borondipyrromethene antennas linked to a hexaphenylbenzene core that also bears two zinc porphyrins. A fullerene electron acceptor self-assembles to both porhyrins via dative bonds. Excitation energy is transferred very efficiently from all four antennas to the porphyrins. Singlet-singlet energy transfer occurs both directly and by a stepwise funnel-like pathway wherein excitation moves down a thermodynamic gradient. The porphyrin excited states donate an electron to the fullerene with a time constant of 3 ps to generate a charge-separated state with a lifetime of 230 ps. The overall quantum yield is close to unity. In the absence of the fullerene, the porphyrin excited singlet state donates an electron to a borondipyrromethene on a slower time scale. This molecule demonstrates that by incorporating antennas, it is possible for a molecular system to harvest efficiently light throughout the visible from ultraviolet wavelengths out to ∼650 nm.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry