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Published November 2000 | public
Journal Article

Luminescence quenching by DNA-bound viologens: effect of reactant identity on efficiency and dynamics of electron transfer in DNA


Photoinduced electron transfer from two intercalating photoactive donors, Ru(phen)_2dppz^(2+) and ethidium, to intercalating viologen acceptors of the N,N′-dialkyl-6-(2′-pyridiniumyl)phenanthridinium family has been investigated through steady-state and time-resolved luminescence quenching measurements. Efficient quenching of the emission from these donors bound to DNA is observed at low concentrations of acceptor (1–10 eq.), and in time-resolved emission experiments it is determined that electron transfer occurs on the nanosecond time scale. Furthermore, transient absorption measurements confirm that the quenching is the result of a charge-transfer process; upon photoreaction of intercalated Ru(phen)_2dppz^(2+) with a viologen acceptor, an intermediate with spectral properties resembling the expected charge-separated pair is observed. The quenching yields and kinetics obtained with this quencher are in marked contrast to those observed with these same donors paired with Rh(phi)_2bpy^(3+) as an acceptor. The differing efficiencies of electron transfer for these donor/acceptor pairs bound to DNA as compared to others previously described are discussed qualitatively in terms of the structural and electronic properties of the different reactants.

Additional Information

© 2000 Elsevier. Received 3 January 2000; accepted 25 August 2000. We are grateful to NIH (GM49216 to JKB, predoctoral traineeship to SOK) and DGICYT (PB95-0406 to GO) for financial support of this research. We also thank M.C. Gutierrez-Alonso for preparation of the viologen compounds.

Additional details

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