Depolarized Resonance Light Scattering By Porphyrin And Chlorophyll a Aggregates

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Biophysical Journal


A quantum mechanical model is developed for the observed resonance enhancement of light scattering by aggregates of electronically interacting chromophores. Aggregate size, monomer oscillator strength, extent of electronic coupling, and aggregate geometry are all important determinants of intensity in resonance light scattering (RLS) spectra. The theory also predicts the value of the depolarization ratio (rho(V)(90)) of RLS for a given aggregate geometry. These results are used to interpret the RLS depolarization ratios of four aggregates: tetrakis(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphine aggregated at low pH (rho(V)(90) = 0.17 at 488 nm), trans-bis(N-methylpyridinium-4-yl)-diphenylporphinato copper(II) aggregated in 0.2 M NaCl solution (rho(V)(90) = 0.13 at 450 nm) and on calf thymus DNA(rho(V)(90) = 0.20 at 454 nm), and chlorophyll a aggregates in formamide/water (rho(V)(90) = 0.23 and 0.32 at 469 and 699 nm, respectively). The analysis is consistent with a J-aggregate geometry for all four systems. Furthermore, the specific values of rho(V)(90) allow us to estimate the orientation of the monomer transition dipoles with respect to the long axis of the aggregate. We conclude that depolarized resonance light scattering spectroscopy is a powerful probe of the geometric and electronic structures of extended aggregates of strong chromophores.