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Inorg Chem. 2003 Oct 6;42(20):6366-78.

Structure-dependent photophysical properties of singlet and triplet metal-to-ligand charge transfer states in copper(I) bis(diimine) compounds.

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Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, 1-16 Machikaneyama, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-0043, Japan.


The photophysical properties of singlet and triplet metal-to-ligand charge transfer (MLCT) states of [Cu(I)(diimine)(2)](+), where diimine is 2,9-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline (dmphen), 2,9-dibutyl-1,10-phenanthroline (dbphen), or 6,6'-dimethyl-2,2'-bipyridine (dmbpy), were studied. On 400 nm laser excitation of [Cu(dmphen)(2)](+) in CH(2)Cl(2) solution, prompt (1)MLCT fluorescence with a quantum yield of (2.8 +/- 0.8) x 10(-5) was observed using a picosecond time-correlated single photon counting technique. The quantum yield was dependent on the excitation wavelength, suggesting that relaxation of the Franck-Condon state to the lowest (1)MLCT competes with rapid intersystem crossing (ISC). The fluorescence lifetime of the copper(I) compound was 13-16 ps, unexpectedly long despite a large spin-orbit coupling constant of 3d electrons in copper (829 cm(-1) ). Quantum chemical calculations using a density functional theory revealed that the structure of the lowest (1)MLCT in [Cu(dmphen)(2)](+) (1(1)B(1)) was flattened due to the Jahn-Teller effect in 3d(9) electronic configuration, and the dihedral angle between the two phenanthroline planes (dha) was about 75 degrees with the dha around 90 degrees in the ground state. Intramolecular reorganization energy for the radiative transition of 1(1)B(1) was calculated as 2.1 x 10(3) cm(-1), which is responsible for the large Stokes shift of the fluorescence observed (5.4 x 10(3) cm(-1)). To understand the sluggishness of the intersystem crossing (ISC) of (1)MLCT of the copper(I) compounds, the strength of the spin-orbit interaction between the lowest (1)MLCT (1(1)B(1)) and all (3)MLCT states was calculated. The ISC channels induced by strong spin-orbit interactions (ca. 300 cm(-1)) between the metal-centered HOMO and HOMO - 1 were shown to be energetically unfavorable in the copper(I) compounds because the flattening distortion caused large splitting (6.9 x 10(3) cm(-1)) between these orbitals. The possible ISC is therefore induced by weak spin-orbit interactions (ca. 30 cm(-1)) between ligand-centered molecular orbitals. Further quantum mechanical study on the spin-orbit interaction between the lowest (3)MLCT (1(3)A) and all (1)MLCT states indicated that the phosphorescence borrows intensity from 2(1)B(1). The radiative rate of the phosphorescence was also structure-sensitive. The flattening distortion reduced the transition dipole moment of 2(1)B(1) --> the ground state, and decreased the extent of mixing between 1(3)A and 2(1)B(1), thereby considerably reducing the phosphorescence radiative rate at the MLCT geometry compared to that at the ground state geometry. The theoretical calculation satisfactorily reproduced the radiative rate of ca. 10(3) s(-1) and accounted for the structure-sensitive phosphorescence intensities of copper(I) bis(diimine) compounds recently demonstrated by Felder et al. (Felder, D.; Nierengarten, J. F.; Barigelletti, F.; Ventura, B.; Armaroli, N. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2001, 123, 6291).


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