Mimicking photosystem II reactions in artificial photosynthesis: Ru(II)-polypyridine photosensitisers linked to tyrosine and manganese electron donors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The paper describes a project aiming at constructing functional mimics of the oxygen evolving complex in photosystem II, coupled to photoinduced charge separation. Biomimetic electron donors, manganese complexes and tyrosine, have been linked to a Ru(II)-polypyridine photosensitiser. Oxidation of the donors by intramolecular electron transfer from the photooxidised Ru(III) complex was demonstrated using optical flash photolysis and EPR experiments. A step-wise electron transfer Mn(III,III)->tyrosine->Ru(III) was demonstrated, in analogy to the reaction on the donor side of photosystem II. Electron transfer from the tyrosine to Ru(III) was coupled to tyrosine deprotonation. This resulted in a large reorganisation energy and thus a slow reaction rate, unless the tyrosine was hydrogen bonded or already deprotonated. A comparison with analogous reaction in photosystem II is made. Finally, light-induced oxidation of a manganese dimer linked to a Ru(II)-photosensitiser was observed. Preliminary results suggest the possibility of photooxidising manganese dimers in several steps, which is an important step towards water oxidation.


  • Leif Hammarström
  • Licheng Sun
  • Björn Åkermark
  • Stenbjörn Styring
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences


  • Electron transfer, Manganese, Ruthenium, Photochemistry, Artificial photosynthesis, Photosystem II
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-69
JournalCatalysis Today
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Publication categoryResearch