Dynamics of the Higher Lying Excited States of Cyanine Dyes. An Ultrafast Fluorescence Study
The electronic relaxation dynamics of the second singlet excited states of several cyanine dyes was studied through the femtosecond fluorescence up-conversion technique. Our interest in these molecules comes from the potential applications of systems with upper excited singlet states with a long lifetime, which can include electron and energy transfer from the higher lying singlets after one- or two-photon absorption. We studied three series of cyanines with 4-quinolyl, 2-quinolyl, or benzothiazolyl type end groups, each with varying sp2 carbon conjugation lengths in the methinic bridge. The dynamics after electronic excitation to singlet states above the fluorescent state vary significantly as a function of cyanine structure and conjugation length. In particular, for the 4-quinolyl series the cyanine with an intermediate conjugation length (three methinic carbons) has the slowest S2 decays with lifetimes of 5.4 ps in ethanol and 6.6 ps in ethylene glycol. On the other hand, we observed that the 2-quinoly...