Exciton Transfer and Emergent Excitonic States in Oppositely-Charged Conjugated Polyelectrolyte Complexes.


Photosynthetic organisms have mastered the use of "soft" macromolecular assemblies for light absorption and concentration of electronic excitation energy. Nature's design centers on an optically inactive protein-based backbone that acts as a host matrix for an array of light-harvesting pigment molecules. The pigments are organized in space such that excited states can migrate between molecules, ultimately delivering the energy to the reaction center. Here we report our investigation of an artificial light-harvesting energy transfer antenna based on complexes of oppositely charged conjugated polyelectrolytes (CPEs). The conjugated backbone and the charged side chains of the CPE lead to an architecture that simultaneously functions as a structural scaffold and an electronic energy "highway". We find that the process of ionic complex formation leads to a remarkable change in the excitonic wavefunction of the energy acceptor, which manifests in a dramatic increase in the fluorescence quantum yield. We argue that the extended backbone of the donor CPE effectively templates a planarized acceptor polymer, leading to excited states that are highly delocalized along the polymer backbone.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.6b06533

Cite this paper

@article{Hollingsworth2016ExcitonTA, title={Exciton Transfer and Emergent Excitonic States in Oppositely-Charged Conjugated Polyelectrolyte Complexes.}, author={William R Hollingsworth and C. Pe{\~n}a Segura and J. Gabriela Pe{\~n}a Balderrama and Nathaniel Lopez and Pamela Schleissner and Alexander L. Ayzner}, journal={The journal of physical chemistry. B}, year={2016}, volume={120 31}, pages={7767-74} }