Magnetic Field-Sensitive Radical Pair Dynamics in Polymethylene Ether-Bridged Donor-Acceptor Systems

Hao Minh Hoang, Van Thi Bich Pham, Günter Grampp, Daniel R. Kattnig*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Donor-acceptor systems forming exciplexes are versatile models for the study of magnetic field effects (MFEs) on charge recombination reactions. The MFEs originate from singlet-triplet interconversion within transient radical ion pairs (RIPs), which exist in a dynamic equilibrium with the exciplexes. Here, we describe the synthesis and MFEs of the chain-linked N,N-dimethylaniline (DMA)/9-methylanthracene (MAnt) donor-acceptor system MAnt-(CH2)n-O-CH2-CH2-DMA for n = 6, 8, 10, and 16. The MFEs are found to increase with increasing chain length. Effects as large as 37.5% have been observed for the long-chain compound with n = 16. The solvent dependence of the MFEs at magnetic field intensity 75 mT is reported. For the range of solvent static dielectric constants ϵs = 6.0-36.0, the MFEs go through a maximum for intermediate polarities, for which the direct formation of RIPs prevails and their dissociation and reencounter are balanced. Field-resolved measurements (MARY spectra) are reported for solutions in butyronitrile. The MARY spectra reveal that for n = 8, 10, 16, the average exchange interaction is negligible during the coherent lifetime of the radical pair. However, singlet-triplet dephasing broadens the lineshape; the shorter the linker, the more pronounced this effect is. For n = 6, a dip in the fluorescence intensity reveals a nonzero average exchange coupling of the order of ±5 mT. We discuss the field-dependence in the framework of the semiclassical theory taking spin-selective recombination, singlet-triplet dephasing, and exchange coupling into account. Singlet recombination rates of the order of 0.1 ns-1 and various degrees of singlet-triplet dephasing govern the spin dynamics. In addition, because of a small free energy gap between the exciplex and the locally excited fluorophore quencher pair, a fully reversible interconversion between the RIP, exciplex, and locally excited fluorophore is revealed by spectrally resolved MFE measurements for the long-chain systems (n = 10, 16).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10296-10305
Number of pages10
JournalACS Omega
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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