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J Phys Chem A. 2005 Feb 3;109(4):535-41.

Fast excited-state intramolecular proton transfer and subnanosecond dynamic stokes shift of time-resolved fluorescence spectra of the 5-methoxysalicylic acid/diethyl ether complex.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, Laser Centre VU, Faculty of Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1083, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) occurring in the salicylic acid (SA) derivative 5-methoxysalicylic acid (5-MeOSA) in an apolar solvent (cyclohexane) and in the presence of the hydrogen bond accepting agent diethyl ether (DEE) is investigated. Analysis of the directly measured subnanosecond time-resolved emission spectra (TRES) together with conventional steady-state fluorescence and time-correlated single-photon-counting (TCSPC) decays indicates that ESIPT in this system occurs much faster than fluorescence, and that the equilibrium between normal and tautomeric excited states is established before the emission from both states takes place. However, changes in time- and frequency-resolved fluorescence of the 5-MeOSA/DEE complex are observed due to structural relaxation within the complex, which is reflected in the dynamic Stokes shift of the tautomeric fluorescence band. The normal fluorescence band of 5-MeOSA/DEE does not exhibit marked changes within the investigated time range. A single-exponential relaxation time of 460 ps was determined for the dynamic Stokes shift of the tautomeric band, and it is attributed to a geometric change within the 5-MeOSA/DEE complex upon excitation. Since both tautomeric and normal emission bands are well resolved and exhibit different time-dependent behaviors, a double-well potential appears to be adequate to describe the excited state of the system studied.


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