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J Am Chem Soc. 2011 May 25;133(20):7728-36. doi: 10.1021/ja108645x. Epub 2011 Apr 27.

Coherent nuclear dynamics in ultrafast photoinduced structural change of bis(diimine)copper(I) complex.

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Molecular Spectroscopy Laboratory, Advanced Science Institute (ASI), RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.


The photoinduced structural change of a prototype metal complex, [Cu(dmphen)(2)](+) (dmphen = 2,9-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline), was studied by ultrafast spectroscopy with time resolution as high as 30 fs. Time-resolved absorption measured with direct S(1) excitation clearly showed spectral changes attributable to the D(2d) (perpendicular) → D(2) (flattened) structural change occurring in the metal-to-ligand charge transfer singlet excited state ((1)MLCT) and the subsequent S(1) → T(1) intersystem crossing. It was confirmed that the two processes occur with time constants of ~0.8 ps (structural change) and ~10 ps (intersystem crossing), and their time scales are clearly well-separated. A distinct oscillation of the transient absorption signal was observed in the femtosecond region, which arises from the coherent nuclear motion of the perpendicular S(1) state that was directly generated by photoexcitation. This demonstrated that the perpendicular S(1) state has a well-defined vibrational structure and can vibrate within its subpicosecond lifetime. In other words, the S(1) state stays undistorted in a short period, and the coherent nuclear motion is maintained in this state. Time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) calculations gave consistent results, indicating a very flat feature and even a local minimum at the perpendicular structure on the S(1) potential energy surface. The vibrational assignments of the S(1) nuclear wavepacket motion were made on the basis of the TDDFT calculation. It was concluded that photoexcitation induces a(1) vibrations containing the Cu-ligand bond length change and a b(1) vibration attributed to the ligand-twisting motion that has the same symmetry as the flattening distortion. Ultrafast spectroscopy and complementary quantum chemical calculation provided an overall picture and new understanding of the photoinduced structural change of the prototypical metal complex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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