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Ion-Mediated Electron Transfer in a Supramolecular Donor-Acceptor Ensemble

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Science  10 Sep 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5997, pp. 1324-1327
DOI: 10.1126/science.1192044

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Abstract

Ion binding often mediates electron transfer in biological systems as a cofactor strategy, either as a promoter or as an inhibitor. However, it has rarely, if ever, been exploited for that purpose in synthetic host-guest assemblies. We report here that strong binding of specific anions (chloride, bromide, and methylsulfate but not tetrafluoroborate or hexafluorophosphate) to a tetrathiafulvalene calix[4]pyrrole (TTF-C4P) donor enforces a host conformation that favors electron transfer to a bisimidazolium quinone (BIQ2+) guest acceptor. In contrast, the addition of a tetraethylammonium cation, which binds more effectively than the BIQ2+ guest in the TTF-C4P cavity, leads to back electron transfer, restoring the initial oxidation states of the donor and acceptor pair. The products of these processes were characterized via spectroscopy and x-ray crystallography.

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