Remarkable fluorescence enhancement versus complex formation of cationic porphyrins on the surface of ZnO nanoparticles

S.M.B. Aly, M. Eita, J.I. Khan, E. Alarousu, and O.F. Mohammed
J. Phys. Chem. C, 118(23), 12154-12161, (2014)

Remarkable fluorescence enhancement versus complex formation of cationic porphyrins on the surface of ZnO nanoparticles

Keywords

Cationic porphyrins

Abstract

​Fluorescence enhancement of organic fluorophores shows tremendous potential to improve image contrast in fluorescence-based bioimaging. Here, we present an experimental study of the interaction of two cationic porphyrins, meso-tetrakis(1-methylpyridinium-4-yl)porphyrin chloride (TMPyP) and meso-tetrakis(4-N,N,N-trimethylanilinium)porphyrin chloride (TMAP), with cationic surfactant-stabilized zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) based on several steady-state and time-resolved techniques. We show the first experimental measurements demonstrating a clear transition from pronounced fluorescence enhancement to charge transfer (CT) complex formation by simply changing the nature and location of the positive charge of the meso substituent of the cationic porphyrins. For TMPyP, we observe a sixfold increase in the fluorescence intensity of TMPyP upon addition of ZnO NPs. Our experimental results indicate that the electrostatic binding of TMPyP with the surface of ZnO NPs increases the symmetry of the porphyrin macrocycle. This electronic communication hinders the rotational relaxation of the meso unit and/or decreases the intramolecular CT character between the cavity and the meso substituent of the porphyrin, resulting in the enhancement of the intensity of the fluorescence. For TMAP, on the other hand, the different type and nature of the positive charge resulting in the development of the CT band arise from the interaction with the surface of ZnO NPs. This observation is confirmed by the femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy, which provides clear spectroscopic signatures of photoinduced electron transfer from TMAP to ZnO NPs.

Code

DOI:  10.1021/jp5030075

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