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J Phys Chem B. 2013 Dec 12;117(49):15903-16. doi: 10.1021/jp409628e. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Evaluating the extent of intramolecular charge transfer in the excited states of rhenium(I) donor-acceptor complexes with time-resolved vibrational spectroscopy.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Tulane University , New Orleans, Louisiana 70118, United States.


Excited states in transition-metal complexes, even in those featuring ligands with strong electron donating and accepting properties, often involve only partial charge transfer between the donor and acceptor ligands. The excited-state properties of [Re(bpy)(CO)3L](+) compounds were studied, where L is 4-dimethylaminobenzonitrile (Re4DMABN), 3-dimethylaminobenzonitrile (Re3DMABN), and benzonitrile (ReBN) using time-resolved infrared (TRIR) and electronic spectroscopy methods as well as electronic structure computations. The DMABN complexes exhibit strongly solvent-dependent luminescence; the excited state lifetime decreases from microseconds in dichloromethane to several nanoseconds in mixed MeOH:DCM (1:1) solvent. Despite the similarities in the solvent dependence of the excited state dynamics and redox properties for Re3DMABN and Re4DMABN, the nature of the lowest energy excited states formed in these two compounds is drastically different. For example, the lowest energy excited state for Re4DMABN in the mixed solvent is assigned to the (4DMABN → bpy) ligand-to-ligand charge transfer (LLCT) state featuring partial charge transfer character. An equilibrium between a 3DMABN intraligand triplet ((3)IL) and a metal-ligand-to-ligand charge transfer (MLLCT) state is found for Re3DMABN in the mixed solvent with the latter at ca. 400 cm(-1) lower energy. The origin of such a drastic difference between the states involved in Re4DMABN and Re3DMABN is attributed to a difference in the energies of polarized quinoidal resonance structures in 4DMABN and 3DMABN ligands.

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