J Am Chem Soc 2002 Feb;124(8):1736-43
Department of Chemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA.
Measurements of ultrafast fluorescence anisotropy decay in model branched dendritic molecules of different symmetry are reported. These molecules contain the fundamental branching center units of larger dendrimer macromolecules with either three (C(3))- or four (T(d), tetrahedral)-fold symmetry. The anisotropy for a tetrahedral system is found to decay on a subpicosecond time scale (880 fs). This decay can be qualitatively explained by Förster-type incoherent energy migration between chromophores. Alternatively, for a nitrogen-centered trimer system, the fluorescence anisotropy decay time (35 fs) is found to be much shorter than that of the tetramers, and the decay cannot be attributed to an incoherent hopping mechanism. In this case, a coherent interchromophore energy transport mechanism should be considered. The mechanism of the ultrafast energy migration process in the branched systems is interpreted by use of a phenomenological quantum mechanical model, which examines the two extreme cases of incoherent and coherent interactions.