Photosensitized electron-transfer processes of nanocarbon materials hybridized with electron donating or electron accepting molecules have been surveyed in this tutorial review on the basis of the recent results reported mainly from our laboratories. As nano-carbon materials, fullerenes and single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have been employed. Fullerenes act as photo-sensitizing electron acceptors with respect to a wide variety of electron donors; in addition, the fullerenes act as good ground state electron acceptors in the presence of light-absorbing electron donors such as porphyrins and phthalocyanines. In the case of SWCNTs, their ground states act as electron acceptor and electron donors, depending on the photosensitizers. For example, with respect to the photoexcited porphyrins and phthalocyanines, SWCNTs usually act as electron acceptors, whereas for the photoexcited fullerenes, SWCNTs act as electron donors. The diameter sorted semi-conductive SWCNTs have been used to verify the size-dependent electron transfer rates. For the confirmation of the electron transfer processes, the transient absorption methods have been widely used, in addition to the time-resolved fluorescence spectral measurements. The kinetic data thus obtained in solution are found to be quite useful to predict the efficiencies of photovoltaic cells constructed on semiconductor nanoparticle modified electrodes and their photocatalytic processes.
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