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J Chem Phys. 2006 Feb 28;124(8):084313.

Ab initio nonadiabatic quantum dynamics of cyclohexadiene/hexatriene ultrafast photoisomerization.

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Institute for Molecular Science, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan.


Reaction mechanisms of the ultrafast photoisomerization between cyclohexadiene and hexatriene have been elucidated by the quantum dynamics on the ab initio potential energy surfaces calculated by multireference configuration interaction method. In addition to the quantum wave-packet dynamics along the two-dimensional reaction coordinates, the semiclassical analyses have also been carried out to correctly estimate the nonadiabatic transition probabilities around conical intersections in the full-dimensional space. The reaction time durations of radiationless decays in the wave-packet dynamics are found to be generally consistent with the femtosecond time-resolution experimental observations. The nonadiabatic transition probabilities among the ground (S0), first (S1), and second (S2) excited states have been estimated by using the semiclassical Zhu-Nakamura formula considering the full-dimensional wave-packet density distributions in the vicinity of conical intersections under the harmonic normal mode approximation. The cyclohexadiene (CHD) ring-opening process proceeds descending on the S1(1 1B) potential after the photoexcitation. The major part of the wave-packet decays from S1(1 1B) to S1(2 1A) by the first seam line crossing along the C2-symmetry-breaking directions. The experimentally observed ultrafast S1-S0 decay can be explained by the dynamics through the S1-S0 conical intersection along the direction toward the five-membered ring. The CHD: hexatriene (HT) branching ratio is estimated to be approximately 5:5, which is in accordance with the experiment in solution. This branching ratio is found to be mainly governed by the location of the five-membered ring S1-S0 conical intersection along the ground state potential ridge between CHD and HT.

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