The Fate of Electronically Excited States : Ultrafast Electron and Energy Transfer in Solvated Donor-Acceptor Systems

Sammanfattning: Processes where a molecule absorbs visible light and then disposes of the excess energy via electron/energy transfer reactions have an important role both in nature (e.g. in photosynthesis) and in many technical applications (e.g. in photography and photovoltaics). This thesis uses different spectroscopical techniques, mainly ultrafast transient absorption, to study such processes. The thesis can roughly be divided into three parts.In the first part, donor-acceptor systems linked by different conjugated bridges are studied. The objective was to see to what extent the conjugated link could enhance excited state energy or electron transfer, via so-called superexchange processes. The studied links do enhance the electron/energy transfer but in the electron transfer study the resulting charge separated state was very short lived.The second part explores the possibility of constructing acceptor-donor-acceptor triads where the direction of electron transfer is determined by the electronic state of the donor. Direct evidence of electron transfer in the form of radical absorption was found from both the first and the second excited states of the donor.In the last part, two common chromophores were investigated by transient absorption anisotropy. In the case of Ru(bpy)32+, it was found that the complex lost all memory of the polarization of the exciting light much faster than what was previously thought. This means that electron transfer between ligands is normally not the rate limiting step in electron transfer reactions involving this complex. In the case of zinc porphyrin, it was seen that the measured anisotropy differed depending on which electronic state was excited suggesting differences in the degree of coherence.