Dual Chromophore-Nitroxides: Novel Molecular Probes, Photochemical and Photophysical Models and Magnetic Materials


Corresponding author email: gertz@bgu.ac.il, (Gertz I. Likhtenstein)


Over the last decades scientists have faced growing requirements in novel methods of fast and sensitive analysis of antioxidant status of biological systems, spin redox probing and spin trapping, investigation of molecular dynamics, and of convenient models for studies of photophysical and photochemical processes. In approaching this problem, methods based upon the use of dual chromophore-nitroxide (CN) compounds have been suggested and developed. A CN consists of two molecular sub-functionality (a chromophore and a stable nitroxide radical) tethered together by spacers. In the dual compound the nitroxide is a strong intramolecular quencher of the fluorescence from the chromophore fragment. Reduction to hydroxylamine, oxidation of the nitroxide fragment or addition of an active radical yield the fluorescence increase and the parallel decay of the fragment electron spin resonance (ESR) signal. At certain conditions the dual molecules undergo photomagnetic switching and form excited state multi-spin systems. These unique properties of CN were intensively exploited as the basis for several methodologies, which include molecular probing, modeling intramolecular photochemical and photophysical processes, and construction of new magnetic materials.