C60-bridge-Fc arrays (C60-Fc, C60-PV-Fc, C60-2PV-Fc, C60-3PV-Fc), bearing a fulleropyrrolidine and a ferrocene (Fc) unit connected via an oligophenylenevinylene (OPV) bridge have been prepared. Suitable dyads (PV-Fc, 2PV-Fc, 3PV-Fc) to be used as references for the study of the electronic properties of the largest arrays have been also synthesized. The electrochemical properties of all the dyad and triad multicomponent arrays have been studied by cyclic voltammetry, evidencing a rich and complex electrochemical pattern due to the presence of several electroactive moieties. The first reduction is always assigned to the fullerene moiety and the first oxidation is centred on the Fc group, making the triad systems suitable candidates for photoinduced electron transfer via the interposed bridge. Photophysical studies evidence a complete quenching of the fluorescence of organic conjugated moieties in PV-Fc, 2PV-Fc, 3PV-Fc, possibly via energy transfer to the Fc unit. In the more complex C60/Fc arrays the quenching of the C60 moieties is ultrafast in CH2Cl2 solution and most likely attributable to electron transfer via the OPV wire. In toluene, the dynamic process of singlet and triplet fullerene quenching can be traced via time resolved fluorescence and transient absorption spectroscopy and the values of the rate constants are smaller with increasing donor–acceptor distance. Definitive assignment of the intercomponent quenching mechanism between the fullerene and the ferrocene moiety (energy or electron transfer) can hardly be obtained. Several repeated attempts to detect the radical anion fingerprint of fulleropyrrolidine with transient absorption failed, even in bimolecular quenching experiments. This supports the view that distance-dependent C60 → Fc singlet–triplet and triplet–triplet energy transfer may compete successfully with the desired charge separation step.
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