Synthetic DNA conjugates in which one or both ends of a short duplex is capped by a stilbene chromophore have been prepared and characterized crystallographically. Selective excitation of the chromophore can be used to initiate electron transfer processes in which a nucleobase serves as either an electron donor or an electron acceptor. These processes include hole- and electron injection and hole migration. The dynamics of these processes and its dependence on distance, driving force, and base sequence have been investigated by means of femtosecond time-resolved spectroscopy. Duplexes with identical chromophores at both ends have been used to study both the dynamics of electron transfer processes and exciton coupling between the two chromophores by means of circular dichroism spectroscopy. Duplexes with different chromophores can also be used to study distance dependence of both electron transfer and exciton coupling.
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Vol. 81 • No. 1