Single molecule studies of calix[4]arene-linked perylene bisimide dimers: Relationship between blinking, lifetime and/or spectral fluctuations

Abey Issac, Richard Hildner, Dominique Ernst, Catharina Hippius, Frank Würthner, Jürgen Köhler

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We recorded fluorescence time traces, and simultaneously either the fluorescence lifetime or the emission spectra from single perylene bisimide (PBI) dimers embedded in a polystyrene matrix. In these traces three distinct intensity levels can be distinguished, which reflect the photo-induced radicalisation of one of the perylene subunits. Differences in the energy transfer rate between the neutral PBI and the reversibly formed radical anion give rise to variations in the chronological order of the appearance of the intensity levels, which allowed us to categorise the time traces into three distinct groups: Type 1 blinking corresponds to a high energy transfer rate, type 2 blinking to fluctuations between large and small transfer rates (dynamic quenching), and type 3 blinking results from small energy transfer rates together with Coulomb blockade. The information that we obtain from the distributions of the fluorescence lifetimes at the various signal levels allows us to relate these differences to properties of the local polymer environment of the dimers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10789-10798
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - Aug 14 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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