Design, Synthesis, and Photophysical Investigation of Porphyrin-containing Polymer-wrapped Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes
Significant advances in understanding the fundamental photophysical behavior of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) have been made possible by the development of ionic, conjugated aryleneethynylene polymers that helically wrap SWNTs with well-defined morphology. My contribution to this work was the design and synthesis of porphyrin-containing polymers and the photophysical investigation of the corresponding polymer-wrapped SWNTs. For these new constructs, the polymer acts as more than just a solubilization scaffold; such assemblies can provide benchmark data for evaluating spectroscopic signatures of energy and charge transfer events and lay the groundwork for further, rational development of polymers with precisely tuned redox properties and electronic coupling with the underlying SWNT. The first design to incorporate a zinc porphyrin into the polymer backbone, PNES-PZn, suffered from severe aggregation in solution and was redesigned to produce the porphyrin-containing polymer S-PBN-PZn. This polymer was utilized to helically wrap chirality-enriched (6,5) SWNTs, which resulted in significant quenching of the porphyrin-based fluorescence. Time-resolved spectroscopy revealed a simultaneous rise and decay of the porphyrin radical cation and SWNT electron polaron spectroscopic signatures indicative of photoinduced electron transfer. A new polymer, S-PBN(b)-Ph2PZn3, was then synthesized which incorporated a meso-ethyne linked zinc porphyrin trimer. By changing the absorption profile and electrochemical redox potentials of the polymer, the photophysical behavior of the corresponding polymer-wrapped (6,5)-SWNTs was dramatically changed, and the polymer-wrapped SWNTs no longer showed evidence for photoinduced electron transfer.
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