Biomimetic bacterial photo-synthetic reaction center complexes have been constructed using well-defined self-assembled supramolecular approaches. The "special pair" donor, a cofacial porphyrin dimer, was formed via potassium ion induced dimerization of meso-(benzo-crown-5)porphyrinatozinc. The dimer was subsequently self-assembled with functionalized fullerenes via axial coordination and crown ether-alkyl ammonium cation complexation to form the donor-acceptor pairs, mimicking the noncovalently bound entities of the photosynthetic reaction center. The adopted self-assembly methodology yielded supramolecular complexes of higher stability, with defined geometry and orientation. Efficient forward electron transfer from the singlet excited zinc porphyrin dimer to the fullerene entity and relatively slow reverse electron transfer, important steps in the photo-synthetic light energy conversion have been achieved in these novel biomimetic model systems.
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