skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Therien, Michael J."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 22, 2023
  2. A critical spintronics challenge is to develop molecular wires that render efficiently spin-polarized currents. Interplanar torsional twisting, driven by chiral binucleating ligands in highly conjugated molecular wires, gives rise to large near-infrared rotational strengths. The large scalar product of the electric and magnetic dipole transition moments ( μ → i j ⋅ m → i j ), which are evident in the low-energy absorptive manifolds of these wires, makes possible enhanced chirality-induced spin selectivity–derived spin polarization. Magnetic-conductive atomic force microscopy experiments and spin-Hall devices demonstrate that these designs point the way to achieve high spin selectivity and large-magnitude spin currents in chiral materials.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 8, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 13, 2023
  4. Exploiting earth-abundant iron-based metal complexes as high-performance photosensitizers demands long-lived electronically excited metal-to-ligand charge-transfer (MLCT) states, but these species suffer typically from femtosecond timescale charge-transfer (CT)-state quenching by low-lying nonreactive metal-centered (MC) states. Here, we engineer supermolecular Fe(II) chromophores based on the bis(tridentate-ligand)metal(II)-ethyne-(porphinato)zinc(II) conjugated framework, previously shown to give rise to highly delocalized low-lying 3 MLCT states for other Group VIII metal (Ru, Os) complexes. Electronic spectral, potentiometric, and ultrafast pump–probe transient dynamical data demonstrate that a combination of a strong σ-donating tridentate ligand and a (porphinato)zinc(II) moiety with low-lying π*-energy levels, sufficiently destabilize MC states and stabilize supermolecular MLCT states to realize Fe(II) complexes that express 3 MLCT state photophysics reminiscent of their heavy-metal analogs. The resulting Fe(II) chromophore archetype, FeNHCPZn, features a highly polarized CT state having a profoundly extended 3 MLCT lifetime (160 ps), 3 MLCT phosphorescence, and ambient environment stability. Density functional and domain-based local pair natural orbital coupled cluster [DLPNO-CCSD(T)] theory reveal triplet-state wavefunction spatial distributions consistent with electronic spectroscopic and excited-state dynamical data, further underscoring the dramatic Fe metal-to-extended ligand CT character of electronically excited FeNHCPZn. This design further prompts intense panchromatic absorptivity via redistributing high-energy absorptive oscillator strength throughout the visible spectral domain,more »while maintaining a substantial excited-state oxidation potential for wide-ranging photochemistry––highlighted by the ability of FeNHCPZn to photoinject charges into a SnO 2 /FTO electrode in a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) architecture. Concepts enumerated herein afford opportunities for replacing traditional rare-metal–based emitters for solar-energy conversion and photoluminescence applications.« less
  5. We describe the de novo design of an allosterically regulated protein, which comprises two tightly coupled domains. One domain is based on the DF (Due Ferri in Italian or two-iron in English) family of de novo proteins, which have a diiron cofactor that catalyzes a phenol oxidase reaction, while the second domain is based on PS1 (Porphyrin-binding Sequence), which binds a synthetic Zn-porphyrin (ZnP). The binding of ZnP to the original PS1 protein induces changes in structure and dynamics, which we expected to influence the catalytic rate of a fused DF domain when appropriately coupled. Both DF and PS1 are four-helix bundles, but they have distinct bundle architectures. To achieve tight coupling between the domains, they were connected by four helical linkers using a computational method to discover the most designable connections capable of spanning the two architectures. The resulting protein, DFP1 (Due Ferri Porphyrin), bound the two cofactors in the expected manner. The crystal structure of fully reconstituted DFP1 was also in excellent agreement with the design, and it showed the ZnP cofactor bound over 12 Å from the dimetal center. Next, a substrate-binding cleft leading to the diiron center was introduced into DFP1. The resulting protein acts asmore »an allosterically modulated phenol oxidase. Its Michaelis–Menten parameters were strongly affected by the binding of ZnP, resulting in a fourfold tighter K m and a 7-fold decrease in k cat . These studies establish the feasibility of designing allosterically regulated catalytic proteins, entirely from scratch.« less
  6. Efficient photosynthetic energy conversion requires quantitative, light-driven formation of high-energy, charge-separated states. However, energies of high-lying excited states are rarely extracted, in part because the congested density of states in the excited-state manifold leads to rapid deactivation. Conventional photosystem designs promote electron transfer (ET) by polarizing excited donor electron density toward the acceptor (“one-way” ET), a form of positive design. Curiously, negative design strategies that explicitly avoid unwanted side reactions have been underexplored. We report here that electronic polarization of a molecular chromophore can be used as both a positive and negative design element in a light-driven reaction. Intriguingly, prudent engineering of polarized excited states can steer a “U-turn” ET—where the excited electron density of the donor is initially pushed away from the acceptor—to outcompete a conventional one-way ET scheme. We directly compare one-way vs. U-turn ET strategies via a linked donor–acceptor (DA) assembly in which selective optical excitation produces donor excited states polarized either toward or away from the acceptor. Ultrafast spectroscopy of DA pinpoints the importance of realizing donor singlet and triplet excited states that have opposite electronic polarizations to shut down intersystem crossing. These results demonstrate that oppositely polarized electronically excited states can be employed to steermore »photoexcited states toward useful, high-energy products by routing these excited states away from states that are photosynthetic dead ends.« less
  7. A recently proposed oxidative damage protection mechanism in proteins relies on hole hopping escape routes formed by redox-active amino acids. We present a computational tool to identify the dominant charge hopping pathways through these residues based on the mean residence times of the transferring charge along these hopping pathways. The residence times are estimated by combining a kinetic model with well-known rates expressions for the charge-transfer steps in the pathways. We identify the most rapid hole hopping pathways escape routes in cytochrome P450 monooxygenase (P450 BM3 ), cytochrome c peroxidase (Ccp1), and benzylsuccinate synthase (BSS). This theoretical analysis supports the existence of hole-hopping chains as a mechanism capable of supporting hole escape from protein catalytic sites on biologically relevant timescales. Furthermore, we find that pathways involving the [4Fe4S] cluster as the terminal hole acceptor in BSS are accessible on the millisecond timescale, suggesting a potential protective role of redox-active cofactors for preventing protein oxidative damage.