Supramolecular photochemistry in solution and on surfaces: Encapsulation and dynamics of guest molecules and communication between encapsulated and free molecules

Vaidhyanathan Ramamurthy, Steffen Jockusch, Mintu Porel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Supramolecular assemblies that help to preorganize reactant molecules have played an important role in the development of concepts related to the control of excited-state processes. This has led to a persistent search for newer supramolecular systems (hosts), and this review briefly presents our work with octa acid (OA) to a host to control excited-state processes of organic molecules. Octa acid, a water-soluble host, forms 1:1, 2:1, and 2:2 (host-guest) complexes with various organic molecules. A majority of the guest molecules are enclosed within a capsule made up of two molecules of OA whereas OA by itself remains as a monomer or aggregates. Luminescence and <sup>1</sup>H NMR spectroscopy help to characterize the structure and dynamics of these host-guest complexes. The guest molecule as well as the host-guest complex as a whole undergoes various types of motion, suggesting that the guests possess freedom inside the confined space of the octa acid capsule. In addition, the confined guests are not isolated but are able to communicate (energy, electron, and spin) with molecules present closer to the capsule. The host-guest complexes are stable even on solid surfaces such as silica, clay, α-Zr phosphate, TiO<inf>2</inf>, and gold nanoparticles. This opens up new opportunities to explore the interaction between confined guests and active surfaces of TiO<inf>2</inf> and gold nanoparticles. In addition, this allows the possibility of performing energy and electron transfer between organic molecules that do not adsorb on inert surfaces of silica, clay, or α-Zr phosphate. The results summarized here, in addition to providing a fundamental understanding of the behavior of molecules in a confined space provided by the host OA, are likely to have a long-range effect on the capture and release of solar energy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5554-5570
Number of pages17
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 26 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Spectroscopy

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