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J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Dec 23;131(50):18040-1. doi: 10.1021/ja908479r.

Transient 2D IR spectroscopy of charge injection in dye-sensitized nanocrystalline thin films.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1101 University Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.


We use nonlinear 2D IR spectroscopy to study TiO(2) nanocrystalline thin films sensitized with a Re dye. We find that the free electron signal, which often obscures the vibrational features in the transient absorption spectrum, is not observed in the 2D IR spectra. Its absence allows the vibrational features of the dye to be much better resolved than with the typical IR absorption probe. We observe multiple absorption bands but no cross peaks in the 2D IR spectra, which indicates that the dyes have at least three conformations. Furthermore, by using a pulse sequence in which we initiate electron transfer in the middle of the infrared pulse train, we are able to assign the excited state features by correlating them to the ground state vibrational modes and determine that the three conformations have different time scales and cross sections for electron injection. 2D IR spectroscopy is proving to be very useful in disentangling overlapping structural distributions in biological and chemical physics processes. These experiments demonstrate that nonlinear infrared probes are also a powerful new tool for studying charge transfer at interfaces.


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