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J Phys Chem A. 2011 Apr 14;115(14):2985-93. doi: 10.1021/jp112168u. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

Photochemistry of (η(6)-arene)Cr(CO)3 (arene = methylbenzoate, naphthalene, or phenanthrene) in n-heptane solution: population of two excited states following 400 nm excitation as detected by picosecond time-resolved infrared spectroscopy.

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Central Laser Facility, Science & Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, OX11 0QX, United Kingdom.


The photochemistry of (η(6)-methylbenzoate)Cr(CO)(3), (η(6)-naphthalene)Cr(CO)(3), and (η(6)-phenanthrene)Cr(CO)(3) in n-heptane solution was investigated by picosecond time-resolved infrared spectroscopy (TRIR). The observation of two transient IR features in the organic carbonyl region at 1681 and 1724 cm(-1) following 400 nm excitation of (η(6)-methylbenzoate)Cr(CO)(3) confirms formation of two excited states which are classified as metal-to-arene charge transfer (MACT) and metal-to-CO charge transfer (MCCT), respectively. Time-dependent density functional theory calculations have been used to support these assignments. Population of the MCCT excited state results in a slow (150 ps) expulsion of one CO ligand. Excitation of (η(6)-naphthalene)Cr(CO)(3) or (η(6)-phenanthrene)Cr(CO)(3) at either 400 or 345 nm produced two excited states: the MCCT state results in CO loss, while the MACT excited state results in a change to the coordination mode of the polyaromatic ligands before relaxing to the parent complex. A comparison of the infrared absorptions observed following the population of the MACT excited state with those calculated for nonplanar polyaromatic intermediates provides a model for the reduced hapticity species.

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