Quantifying through-space charge transfer dynamics in π-coupled molecular systems

Nat Commun. 2012;3:1086. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2083.


Understanding the role of intermolecular interaction on through-space charge transfer characteristics in π-stacked molecular systems is central to the rational design of electronic materials. However, a quantitative study of charge transfer in such systems is often difficult because of poor control over molecular morphology. Here we use the core-hole clock implementation of resonant photoemission spectroscopy to study the femtosecond charge-transfer dynamics in cyclophanes, which consist of two precisely stacked π-systems held together by aliphatic chains. We study two systems, [2,2]paracyclophane (22PCP) and [4,4]paracyclophane (44PCP), with inter-ring separations of 3.0 and 4.0 Å, respectively. We find that charge transfer across the π-coupled system of 44PCP is 20 times slower than in 22PCP. We attribute this difference to the decreased inter-ring electronic coupling in 44PCP. These measurements illustrate the use of core-hole clock spectroscopy as a general tool for quantifying through-space coupling in π-stacked systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.