Designing supramolecular porphyrin arrays that self-organize into nanoscale optical and magnetic materials. Academic Article uri icon


  • Tessellation of nine free-base porphyrins into a 3 x 3 array is accomplished by the self-assembly of 21 molecular entities of four different kinds, one central, four corner, and four side porphyrins with 12 trans Pd(II) complexes, by specifically designed and targeted intermolecular interactions. Strikingly, the self-assembly of 30 components into a metalloporphyrin nonamer results from the addition of nine equivalents of a first-row transition metal to the above milieu. In this case each porphyrin in the nonameric array coordinates the same metal such as Mn(II), Ni(II), Co(II), or Zn(II). This feat is accomplished by taking advantage of the highly selective porphyrin complexation kinetics and thermodynamics for different metals. In a second, hierarchical self-assembly process, nonspecific intermolecular interactions can be exploited to form nanoscaled three-dimensional aggregates of the supramolecular porphyrin arrays. In solution, the size of the nanoscaled aggregate can be directed by fine-tuning the properties of the component macrocycles, by choice of metalloporphyrin, and the kinetics of the secondary self-assembly process. As precursors to device formation, nanoscale structures of the porphyrin arrays and aggregates of controlled size may be deposited on surfaces. Atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy of these materials show that the choice of surface (gold, mica, glass, etc.) may be used to modulate the aggregate size and thus its photophysical properties. Once on the surface the materials are extremely robust.

published proceedings

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

author list (cited authors)

  • Drain, C. M., Batteas, J. D., Flynn, G. W., Milic, T., Chi, N., Yablon, D. G., & Sommers, H.

citation count

  • 126

complete list of authors

  • Drain, Charles Michael||Batteas, James D||Flynn, George W||Milic, Tatjana||Chi, Ning||Yablon, Dalia G||Sommers, Heather

publication date

  • April 2002