Ultrafast dynamics of the excited states of 1-(p-nitrophenyl)-2-(hydroxymethyl)pyrrolidine.

Radiation & Photochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry A (Impact Factor: 2.77). 03/2012; 116(9):1993-2005. DOI: 10.1021/jp209271u
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The dynamics of the excited states of 1-(p-nitrophenyl)-2-(hydroxymethyl)pyrrolidine (p-NPP) has been investigated using the subpicosecond transient absorption spectroscopic technique in different kinds of solvents. Following photoexcitation using 400 nm light, conformational relaxation via twisting of the nitro group, internal conversion (IC) and the intersystem crossing (ISC) processes have been established to be the three major relaxation pathways responsible for the ultrafast deactivation of the excited singlet (S(1)) state. Although the nitro-twisting process has been observed in all kinds of solvents, the relative probability of the occurrence of the other two processes has been found to be extremely sensitive to solvent polarity, because of alteration of the relative energies of the S(1) and the triplet (T(n)) states. In the solvents of lower polarity, the ISC is predominant over the IC process, because of near isoenergeticity of the S(1)(ππ*) and T(3)(nπ*) states. On the other hand, in the solvents of very large polarity, the energy of the S(1)(ππ*) state becomes lower than those of both the T(3)(nπ*) and T(2)(nπ*/ππ*) states, but those of the T(1)(ππ*) state and the IC process to the ground electronic (S(0)) state are predominant over the ISC, and hence the triplet yield is nearly negligible. However, in the solvents of medium polarity, the S(1) and T(2) states become isoenergetic and the deactivation of the S(1) state is directed to both the IC and ISC channels. In the solvents of low and medium polarity, following the ISC process, the excited states undergo IC, vibrational relaxation, and solvation in the triplet manifold. On the other hand, following the IC process in the Franck-Condon region of the S(0) state, the vibrationally hot molecules with the twisted nitro group subsequently undergo the reverse nitro-twisting process via dissipation of the excess vibrational energy to the solvent or vibrational cooling.

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    ABSTRACT: A series of emitting push-pull triarylamine derivatives, models of their widely used homologues in photonics and organic electronics, was investigated by steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopy. Their structural originality stems from the sole change of the electron-withdrawing substituent X (-H: , -CN: , -NO2: , -CHC(CN)2: ), giving rise to efficient emission tuning from blue to red upon increasing the X electron-withdrawing character. All compounds are highly fluorescent in alkanes. The more polar compounds undergo considerable Stokes shift and emission quenching in polar solvents. Femtosecond transient absorption data allowed us to identify the nature of the emissive state which varies as a function of the compound and surrounding polarity. A long-lived ππ* excited state with weak charge transfer character was found for . This excited state evolves into a long-lived ICT state with red-shifted emission for in polar solvents. For and , the ICT state is directly populated in all solvents. Long-lived and emissive in n-hexane, it relaxes in toluene to a new ICT' conformation with stronger charge transfer character and enhanced Stokes shift. In more polar THF, ethanol, and nitrile solvents, ICT relaxes to a dark excited state ICT'' with viscosity-dependent kinetics (<10 ps). The ICT'' state lifetime drops with increasing solvent polarity (150 ps for in THF, 8.5 ps in butyronitrile, 1.9 ps in acetonitrile), denoting an efficient radiationless deactivation to the ground state (back charge transfer). This result reveals a very small S0-S1 energy gap at the relaxed ICT'' geometry, with a possible close-lying S0-S1 conical intersection, which suggests that the ICT → ICT'' process results from a structural change involving a large-amplitude molecular distortion. This fast structural change can account for the strong fluorescence quenching observed for and in polar solvents. Finally, the magnitude of intersystem crossing between the singlet and triplet excited states largely depends on the electron-deficient X unit and the solvent itself. These observations help one conclude on the prevailing role played by the electron-withdrawing groups and the surrounding polarity in the photophysical performances of triphenylamine derivatives, largely employed in numerous emissive solid-state devices.
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