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In this work we examine the trapping and conversion of visible light energy into chemical energy using a supramolecular assembly. The assembly consists of a light-absorbing antenna and a porphyrin redox center, which are covalently attached to two complementary 14-mer DNA strands, hybridized to form a double helix and anchored to a lipid membrane. The excitation energy is finally trapped in the lipid phase of the membrane as a benzoquinone radical anion that could potentially be used in subsequent chemical reactions. In addition, in this model complex, the hydrophobic porphyrin moiety acts as an anchor into the liposome positioning the DNA construct on the lipid membrane surface. The results show the suitability of our system as a prototype for DNA-based light-harvesting devices, in which energy transfer from the aqueous phase to the interior of the lipid membrane is followed by charge separation.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Chem Soc

Publication Date





2831 - 2839


Benzoquinones, Circular Dichroism, DNA, Electrons, Energy Transfer, Energy-Generating Resources, Fluoresceins, Fluorescence Polarization, Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions, Lipid Bilayers, Metalloporphyrins, Models, Molecular, Nucleic Acid Conformation, Oligonucleotides, Oxidation-Reduction, Photochemical Processes, Porphyrins