Various molecular and supramolecular systems have been synthesized and characterized recently to mimic the functions of photosynthesis, in which solar energy conversion is achieved. Artificial photosynthesis consists of light-harvesting and charge-separation processes together with catalytic units of water oxidation and reduction. Among the organic molecules, derivatives of BF2-chelated dipyrromethene (BODIPY), “porphyrin’s little sister”, have been widely used in constructing these artificial photosynthetic models due to their unique properties. In these photosynthetic models, BODIPYs act as not only excellent antenna molecules, but also as electron-donor and -acceptor molecules in both the covalently linked molecular and supramolecular systems formed by axial coordination, hydrogen bonding, or crown ether complexation. The relationships between the structures and photochemical reactivities of these novel molecular and supramolecular systems are discussed in relation to the efficiency of charge separation and charge recombination. Femto- and nanosecond transient absorption and photoelectrochemical techniques have been employed in these studies to give clear evidence for the occurrence of energy- and electron-transfer reactions and to determine their rates and efficiencies.
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