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Soft-Photoconversion Using Floating Self-Assembled Crystalline Films of Porphyrin Nanostructures

submitted on 27.07.2019, 11:50 and posted on 29.07.2019, 16:28 by Andrés F. Molina-Osorio, David Cheung, Colm O'Dwyer, Andrew A. Stewart, Manuel Dossot, Grégoire Herzog, Micheal D. Scanlon
One of many evolved functions of biological cell membranes is to induce and regulate self-assembly of photoactive molecules into efficient light harvesting nanomaterials. Synthetic molecular assemblies at soft interfaces exhibit macroscale long-range order and so provide routes to biomimetic analogues that minimise concentration quenching. Here, we report the facile assembly of free-standing layered crystalline films of zinc(II) meso-tetrakis(4-carboxyphenyl)porphyrin nanostructures that exhibit significant photocurrents in situ at an electrified liquid | liquid interface. This methodology does not require acidic conditions, specialised amphiphilic porphyrins, or the use of additives or external stimuli. The assembly process is driven by an interplay between the hydrophobicity gradient at an immiscible aqueous | organic interface and optimised hydrogen bonding in the formed nanostructure. Highly-ordered interfacial nanostructures may provide a new paradigm for realisation of light-harvesting antennae in artificial photosynthetic technologies.


European Research Council Starting Grant (agreement no. 716792)

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) (grant number 13/SIRG/2137)

Irish Research Council New Foundations Awards (2014 and 2015)

French Programme Investissement d’Avenir (PIA) “Lorraine Université d’Excellence” (Reference No. ANR-15-IDEX-04-LUE)

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under Grant Numbers 13/TIDA/E2761, 14/IA/2581 and 15/TIDA/2893


Email Address of Submitting Author


University of Limerick



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Version Notes

Currently submitted to a journal and under peer-review.