Femtosecond excited-state dynamics of 4-nitrophenyl pyrrolidinemethanol: Evidence of twisted intramolecular charge transfer and intersystem crossing involving the Nitro group

Shahnawaz Rafiq, Rajeev Yadav, Pratik Sen

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51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ultrafast excited-state relaxation dynamics of a nonlinear optical (NLO) dye, (S)-(-)-1-(4-nitrophenyl)-2-pyrrolidinemethanol (NPP), was carried out under the regime of femtosecond fluorescence up-conversion measurements in augmentation with quantum chemical calculations. The primary concern was to trace the relaxation pathways which guide the depletion of the first singlet excited state upon photoexcitation, in such a way that it is virtually nonfluorescent. Ground- and excited-state (singlet and triplet) potential energy surfaces were calculated as a function of the -NO 2 torsional coordinate, which revealed the perpendicular orientation of -NO 2 in the excited state relative to the planar ground-state conformation. The fluorescence transients in the femtosecond regime show biexponential decay behavior. The first time component of a few hundred femtoseconds was ascribed to the ultrafast twisted intramolecular charge transfer (TICT). The occurrence of charge transfer (CT) is substantiated by the large dipole moment change during excitation. The construction of intensity- and area-normalized time-resolved emission spectra (TRES and TRANES) of NPP in acetonitrile exhibited a two-state emission on behalf of decay of the locally excited (LE) state and rise of the CT state with a Stokes shift of 2000 cm -1 over a time scale of 1 ps. The second time component of a few picoseconds is attributed to the intersystem crossing (isc). In highly polar solvents both the processes occur on a much faster time scale compared to that in nonpolar solvents, credited to the differential stability of energy states in different polarity solvents. The shape of frontier molecular orbitals in the excited state dictates the shift of electron density from the phenyl ring to the -NO 2 group and is attributed to the charge-transfer process taking place in the molecule. The viscosity dependence of relaxation dynamics augments the proposition of considering the -NO 2 group torsional motion as the main excited-state relaxation coordinate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8335-8343
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Volume115
Issue number30
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 4 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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