Phthalocyanines: from outstanding electronic properties to emerging applications

Chem Rec. 2008;8(2):75-97. doi: 10.1002/tcr.20139.


This review paper gives a brief overview on how the outstanding chemical and physical properties of phthalocyanines and phthalocyanine derivatives are being studied and employed in order to construct state-of-the-art technological devices. In a first instance, a short account on how the nature of the phthalocyanine structure and its organization in condensed phases play an important role in their conducting and ultraviolet-visible absorption properties is presented. Consequently, these basic electronic and photophysical features of phthalocyanines allow us to explain why phthalocyanine-based multicomponent covalent or noncovalent donor-acceptor systems may give rise to very interesting photophysical properties, in particular in terms of their ability to generate very long-lived photoinduced charge-separated states. A concise survey on the organization of these multifunctional systems shows how a profound understanding of the morphology at the nanometer-scale of these phthalocyanine-based molecular materials is needed in order to control their physical properties in condensed phases. All the previously mentioned chemical and physical features combined together led us to the description of the latest attempts at incorporating phthalocyanines into photovoltaic devices for solar energy conversion and onto quantum dots for photodynamic therapy or quantum computing.