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Keywords:

  • artificial antenna;
  • energy transfer;
  • host–guest chemistry;
  • supramolecular chemistry;
  • zeolites

Abstract

The synthesis and characterization of dye loaded zeolite L sandwiches acting as artificial antenna systems for light harvesting and transport is reported. A set of experimental tools for the preparation of neutral dye-zeolite L materials ranging from low to maximum packing densities has been developed. The role of co-adsorbed water and the distribution of molecules between the inner and the outer surface were found to be the determining parameters. p-Terphenyl (pTP) turned out to be very suitable for studying these and other relevant parameters of neutral dye-zeolite L materials. We observed that pTP located in the channels of zeolite L can reversibly be displaced by water. This can be used when synthesizing such materials. We also observed that all-trans-1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene (DPH) which is very photolabile in solution is stable after insertion into zeolite L. By combining our extensive knowledge of these systems with ion-exchange procedures developed in an earlier study, we have realized the first bi-directional three-dye antenna. In this material the near UV absorbing compounds DPH or 1,2-bis-(5-methyl-benzoxazol-2-yl)-ethene (MBOXE) are located in the middle part of zeolite L nanocrystals followed on both sides by pyronine (Py) and then by oxonine (Ox) as acceptors. Fluorescence of the oxonine located at both ends of the cylindrical zeolite L crystals was observed upon excitation of the near UV absorber in the middle section at 353 nm, where neither oxonine nor pyronine absorb a significant amount of the excitation light.