A dendrimer facilitates resonance energy transfer between hydrophobic aromatic guest molecules in water

Yashapal Singh, A. Mohan Raj, B. M. Kiran, J. Nithyanandhan, V. Ramamurthy, N. Jayaraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A water soluble third generation poly(alkyl aryl ether) dendrimer was examined for its ability to solubilize hydrophobic polyaromatic molecules in water and facilitate non-radiative resonance energy transfer between them. One to two orders of magnitude higher aqueous solubilities of pyrene (PY), perylene (PE), acridine yellow (AY) and acridine orange (AO) were observed in presence of a defined concentration of the dendrimer. A reduction in the quantum yield of the donor PY∗emission and a partial decrease in lifetime of the donor excited state revealed the occurrence of energy transfer from dendrimer solubilized excited PY to ground state PE molecules, both present within a dendrimer. The energy transfer efficiency was estimated to be ∼61%. A cascade resonance energy transfer in a three component system, PY∗-to-PE-to-AY and PY∗-to-PE-to-AO, was demonstrated through incorporation of AY or AO in the two-component PY-PE system. In the three-component system, excitation of PY resulted in emission from AY or AO via a cascade energy transfer process. Careful choice of dye molecules with good spectral overlap and the employment of dendrimer as the medium enabled us to expand absorption-emission wavelengths, from ∼330 nm to ∼600 nm in aqueous solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry
StatePublished - Feb 15 2016


  • Aromatics
  • Dendrimers
  • Fluorescence
  • Host-guest systems
  • Resonance energy transfer
  • Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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