The photophysics of monomeric bacteriochlorophylls c and d and their derivatives: properties of the triplet state and singlet oxygen photogeneration and quenching.

A. A. Krasnovsky, P. Cheng, R. E. Blankenship, Thomas A Moore, John Devens Gust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


Measurements of pigment triplet-triplet absorption, pigment phosphorescence and photosensitized singlet oxygen luminescence were carried out on solutions containing monomeric bacteriochlorophylls (Bchl) c and d, isolated from green photosynthetic bacteria, and their magnesium-free and farnesyl-free analogs. The energies of the pigment triplet states fell in the range 1.29-1.34 eV. The triplet lifetimes in aerobic solutions were 200-250 ns; they increased to 280 +/- 70 microseconds after nitrogen purging in liquid solutions and to 0.7-2.1 ms in a solid matrix at ambient or liquid nitrogen temperatures. Rate constants for quenching of the pigment triplet state by oxygen were (2.0-2.5) x 10(9) M-1 s-1, which is close to 1/9 of the rate constant for diffusion-controlled reactions. This quenching was accompanied by singlet oxygen formation. The quantum yields for the triplet state formation and singlet oxygen production were 55-75% in air-saturated solutions. Singlet oxygen quenching by ground-state pigment molecules was observed. Quenching was the most efficient for magnesium-containing pigments, kq = (0.31-1.2) x 10(9) M-1 s-1. It is caused mainly by a physical process of singlet oxygen (1O2) deactivation. Thus, Bchl c and d and their derivatives, as well as chlorophyll and Bchl a, combine a high efficiency of singlet oxygen production with the ability to protect photochemical and photobiological systems against damage by singlet oxygen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-330
Number of pages7
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics

Cite this