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J Fluoresc. 2013 Mar;23(2):237-41. doi: 10.1007/s10895-012-1139-9. Epub 2012 Oct 30.

Viscosity and temperature effects on the rate of oxygen quenching of tris-(2,2'-bipyridine)ruthenium(II).

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Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4319, USA.


We compare the bimolecular quenching rate constant (k2) of luminescent tris(2,2'-bipyridine)ruthenium(II) by oxygen in water, ethylene glycol and glycerol as a function of temperature and viscosity to several theoretical models. The Smoluchowski equation with experimentally determined diffusion coefficients produced calculated values that were in the best agreement with experiment. For the less viscous solvent, water, this equation produced a value that was approximately an order of magnitude larger than the experimental value. With an increase in solvent viscosity, the Smoluchowski value approached the experimental value. Using the Smoluchowski equation with calculated diffusion coefficients based on the known radii of the reacting species produced deviations an order of magnitude larger in water and a factor of two or three lower in ethylene glycol and glycerol. If an assumption is made that the radii of both molecules are equal, we have the Stokes Einstein equation, and the only parameters become temperature and viscosity. Using this relationship, the calculated values for water are about a factor of two larger and with ethylene glycol and glycerol about a factor of 6 smaller than experimental data. These results show that bimolecular quenching is a more complex process affected by many parameters such as solvent cage effects in addition to viscosity and temperature.

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