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Acc Chem Res. 2002 Jan;35(1):19-27.

Excited-state proton transfer: from constrained systems to "super" photoacids to superfast proton transfer.

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School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0400, USA.


We have used knowledge of the electronic structure of excited states of acids to design molecules that exhibit enhanced excited-state acidity. Such "super" photoacids are the strongest reversible photoacids known and allow the time evolution of proton transfer to be examined in a wide array of organic solvents. This includes breaking/formation of the hydrogen bonds in hundreds of femtoseconds, solvent reorientation and relaxation in picoseconds, proton dissociation, and, finally, diffusion and geminate recombination of the dissociated proton, observed in nanoseconds.


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