Zinc(II) tetraarylporphyrins anchored to TiO2, ZnO, and ZrO 2 nanoparticle films through rigid-rod linkers

Jonathan Rochford, Elena Galoppini

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129 Scopus citations


A series of six Zn(II) tetraphenylporphyrins (ZnTPP), with a phenyl (P) or oligophenyleneethynylene (OPE = (PE)n) rigid-rod bridge varying in length (9-30 Å) and terminated with an isophthalic acid (Ipa) anchoring unit, were prepared as model dyes for the study of sensitization processes on metal oxide semiconductor nanoparticle surfaces (MOn = TiO 2, ZnO, and insulating ZrO2). The dyes were designed such that the electronic properties of the central porphyrin chromophore remained consistent throughout the series, with the rigid-rod anchoring unit allowing each porphyrin unit to be located at a fixed distance from the metal oxide nanoparticle surface. Electronic communication between the porphyrin and the rigid-rod unit was not desired. Rigid-rod porphyrins ZnTPP-Ipa, ZnTPP-P-Ipa, ZnTPP-PE-Ipa, ZnTPP-(PE)2-Ipa, ZnTPP-(PE)3-Ipa, and ZnTMP-Ipa (with mesityl substituents on the porphyrin ring) were synthesized using combinations of mixed aldehyde condensations and Pd-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions. Their properties, in solution and bound, were compared with that of Zn(II) 5,10,15,20-tetra(4-carboxyphenyl)porphyrin (p-ZnTCPP) as the reference compound. Solution UV-vis and steady-state fluorescence spectra for all six rigid-rod-Ipa porphyrins were almost identical to each other and to that of p-ZnTCPP. Cyclic voltammetry and differential pulse voltammetry scans of the methyl ester derivatives of the six rigid-rod-Ipa porphyrins, recorded in dichloromethane/electrolyte, exhibited redox behavior typical of ZnTPP porphyrins, with the first oxidation in the range +0.99 to 1.09 V vs NHE. AU six rigid-rod-Ipa porphyrins and p-ZnTCPP were bound to metal oxide (MOn = TiO2, ZnO, and insulating ZrO2) nanoparticle films. The Fourier transform infrared attenuated total reflectance spectra of all compounds bound to MOn films showed a broad band at 1553-1560 cm -1 assigned to the v(CO2-) asymmetric stretching mode. Splitting of the Soret band into two bands at 411 and 423 nm in the UV-vis spectra of the bound compounds, and broadening and convergence of both fluorescence emission bands in the fluorescence spectra of the porphyrins bound to insulating ZrO2 were also observed. Such changes were less evident for ZnTMP-Ipa, which has mesityl substituents on the porphyrin ring to prevent aggregation. Steady-state fluorescence emission of rigid-rod-Ipa porphyrins bound to TiO2 and ZnO through the longest bridges (> 14 Å) showed residual fluorescence emission, while fluorescence quenching was observed for the shortest compounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5366-5374
Number of pages9
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 20 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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