Certain cyanine dye molecules have been observed to self-assemble in DNA templates to form large chiral aggregates, which exhibit induced circular dichroism. The structure and circular dichroism (CD) of one such system, aggregates of a cationic DiSC2(5) cyanine dye, are investigated using the time-dependent Kohn-Sham density functional theory (TD-DFT) and exciton coupling model. A series of TD-DFT calculations on the aggregates with one, two, and four dye molecules clearly shows the onset of CD induced by the helically twisted structure compatible with the minor groove of DNA templates. More simplified exciton coupling model analysis successfully reproduces the major positive Cotton effect observed in the experiment as well as the TD-DFT calculations, but it is unable to capture minor features of the CD spectrum that are closely related to absolute configurations of constituent dyes in the complex. We assess the performance of various methods used for evaluation of the electronic coupling energies between interacting chromophores. Our results confirm that the interchromophore interactions in cyanine dye aggregates are primarily electrostatic in nature and indicate that the exciton coupling model is adequate for studying induced CD of self-assembled aggregates of cyanine dye molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry