Artificial light-harvesting antennae: electronic energy transfer by way of molecular funnels
Ziessel, R.; Harriman, A.
Chemical Communications 47(2): 611-631
ISSN/ISBN: 1364-548X PMID: 20957235 DOI: 10.1039/c0cc02687e
Electronic energy transfer (EET) plays a critical role in many biological processes and is used by nature to direct energy to a site where chemical reactions need to be initiated. Such EET can occur over large distances and can involve many individual molecules of identical, similar or disparate chemical identity. Advances in spectroscopy and data processing have allowed the rates of EET to be measured on extremely fast timescales such that improved mechanistic insight becomes feasible. At the same time, highly sophisticated synthetic operations have been devised that facilitate the isolation and purification of elaborate multi-component molecular arrays. A key feature of these arrays concerns the logical positioning of individual units in a way that favours directed EET along the molecular axis or along some other preferred pathway. The availability of these novel molecular materials allows close examination of popular theoretical models and paves the way for the development of advanced molecular sensors, artificial light harvesters, fluorescent labels and sensitizers. Of particular interest is the spectacular growth in the application of boron dipyrromethene dyes as basic reagents in such artificial photon collectors and these compounds have dominated the market in recent years because of their synthetic versatility and valuable photophysical properties. In this article, recent developments in the field are highlighted in terms of synthesis and subsequent spectroscopic exploration.