In order to mimic the photosynthetic reaction centre and better understand photoinduced electron transfer processes, a family of compounds has been studied for the past 15 years. These are transition metal complexes, M(tpy) 2 where tpy is a 2,2′:6′,2″ terpyridine based ligand, bearing on one side a donor group and on the other side an acceptor group. The resulting triad molecules or their two-component reference compounds (donor-M(tpy) 2 and M(tpy) 2-acceptor) can contain Ru, Os, Rh or Ir as the metal centre and both visible-light non absorbing groups and porphyrins as donor and acceptor groups. This tutorial review will briefly present the different systems studied and the reasons that led to the preparation of new systems with improved performances.
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