Light-Induced Conversion of Chemical Permeability to Enhance Electron and Molecular Transfer in Nanoscale Assemblies

Renata Balgley, Graham De Ruiter, Guennadi Evmenenko, Tatyana Bendikov, Michal Lahav, Milko E. Van Der Boom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we demonstrate how photochemically enhancing the permeability of metal-organic assemblies results in a significant enhancement of the electrochemical activity of metal complexes located within the assembly. The molecular assemblies consist of different layers of redox-active metal complexes ([M(mbpy-py)3][PF6]2; M = Ru or Os) that are separated by redox-inactive spacers consisting of 1,4-bis[2-(4-pyridyl)ethenyl]benzene (BPEB) and PdCl2 of variable thicknesses (0-13.4 nm). UV-irradiation (λ = 254 nm) of our assemblies induces a photochemical reaction in the redox-inactive spacer increasing the permeability of the assembly. The observed increase was evident by trapping organic (nBu4NBF4) and inorganic (NiCl2) salts inside the assemblies, and by evaluating the electrochemical response of quinones absorbed inside the molecular assemblies before and after UV irradiation. The increase in permeability is reflected by higher currents and a change in the directionality of electron transfer, i.e., from mono- to bidirectional, between the redox-active metal complexes and the electrode surface. The supramolecular structure of the assemblies dominates the overall electron transfer properties and overrules possible electron transfer mediated by the extensive π-conjugation of its individual organic components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16398-16406
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - Dec 21 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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