Supramolecular and suprabiomolecular photochemistry: a perspective overview

Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2020 Oct 28;22(41):23433-23463. doi: 10.1039/d0cp03981k.


In this perspective review article, we have attempted to bring out the important current trends of research in the areas of supramolecular and suprabiomolecular photochemistry. Since the spans of the subject areas are very vast, it is impossible to cover all the aspects within the limited space of this review article. Nevertheless, efforts have been made to assimilate the basic understanding of how supramolecular interactions can significantly change the photophysical and other related physiochemical properties of chromophoric dyes and drugs, which have enormous academic and practical implications. We have discussed with reference to relevant chemical systems where supramolecularly assisted modulations in the properties of chromophoric dyes and drugs can be used or have already been used in different areas like sensing, dye/drug stabilization, drug delivery, functional materials, and aqueous dye laser systems. In supramolecular assemblies, along with their conventional photophysical properties, the acid-base properties of prototropic dyes, as well as the excited state prototautomerization and related proton transfer behavior of proton donor/acceptor dye molecules, are also largely modulated due to supramolecular interactions, which are often reflected very explicitly through changes in their absorption and fluorescence characteristics, providing us many useful insights into these chemical systems and bringing out intriguing applications of such changes in different applied areas. Another interesting research area in supramolecular photochemistry is the excitation energy transfer from the donor to acceptor moieties in self-assembled systems which have immense importance in light harvesting applications, mimicking natural photosynthetic systems. In this review article, we have discussed varieties of these aspects, highlighting their academic and applied implications. We have tried to emphasize the progress made so far and thus to bring out future research perspectives in the subject areas concerned, which are anticipated to find many useful applications in areas like sensors, catalysis, electronic devices, pharmaceuticals, drug formulations, nanomedicine, light harvesting, and smart materials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Energy Transfer
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / radiation effects
  • Light
  • Photochemistry* / instrumentation


  • Fluorescent Dyes