Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 109, no. 39, pp. 15572 - 15577
A simple donor-acceptor linked dyad, 9-mesityl-10-methylacridinium ion (Acr+-Mes) was incorporated into nanosized mesoporous silica-alumina to form a composite, which in acetonitrile is highly dispersed. In this medium, upon visible light irradiation, the formation of an extremely long-lived electron-transfer state (Acr•-Mes•+) was confirmed by EPR and laser flash photolysis spectroscopic methods. The composite of Acr+-Mes-incorporated mesoporous silica-alumina with an added copper complex [(tmpa)CuII](ClO4 -)2 (tmpa = tris(2-pyridylmethyl)amine) acts as an efficient and robust photocatalyst for the selective oxygenation of p-xylene by molecular oxygen to produce p-tolualdehyde and hydrogen peroxide. Thus, incorporation of Acr +-Mes into nanosized mesoporous silica-alumina combined with an O2-reduction catalyst ([(tmpa)CuII]2+) provides a promising method in the development of efficient and robust organic photocatalysts for substrate oxygenation by dioxygen, the ultimate environmentally benign oxidant.