Influence of hydrogen bonding on excitonic coupling and hierarchal structure of a light-harvesting porphyrin aggregate

Christopher C. Rich, Jeanne L. McHale

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Helical porphyrin nanotubes of tetrakis(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphyrin (TSPP) were examined in DCl/D 2O solution using resonance Raman and resonance light scattering spectroscopy to probe the influence of hydrogen bonding on the excitonic states. Atomic force microscopy reveals similar morphology for aggregates deposited from DCl/D 2O and from HCl/H 2O solution. Deuteration results in subtle changes to the aggregate absorption spectrum but large changes in the relative intensities of Raman modes in the J-band excited resonance Raman spectra, revealing relatively more reorganization along lower-frequency vibrational modes in the protiated aggregate. Depolarization ratio dispersion and changes in the relative Raman intensities for excitation wavelengths spanning the J-band demonstrate interference from overlapping excitonic transitions. Distinctly different Raman excitation profiles for the protiated and deuterated aggregates reveal that isotopic substitution influences the excitonic structure of the J-band. The deuterated aggregate exhibits a nearly two-fold increase in intensity of resonance light scattering as a result of an increase in the coherence number, attributed to decreased exciton-phonon scattering. We propose that strongly coupled cyclic N-mers, roughly independent of isotopic substitution, largely decide the optical absorption spectrum, while water-mediated hydrogen bonding influences the further coherent coupling among them when they are assembled into nanotubes. The results show that, similar to natural light-harvesting complexes such as chlorosomes, hydrogen bonding can have a critical influence on exciton dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2362-2374
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 21 2012


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