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J Phys Chem A. 2014 Oct 30;118(43):10011-9. doi: 10.1021/jp5088948. Epub 2014 Oct 17.

Cycloreversion dynamics of a photochromic molecular switch via one-photon and sequential two-photon excitation.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Kansas , Lawrence, Kansas 66045, United States.


Ultrafast pump-probe (PP) and pump-repump-probe (PReP) measurements examine the ring-opening reaction of a photochromic molecular switch following excitation to the first and higher excited states. Sequential two-photon excitation is a sensitive probe of the excited-state dynamics, because the secondary excitation maps the progress along the S1 reaction coordinate onto the higher excited states of the molecule. In this contribution, secondary excitation at 800 nm accesses more reactive regions of the excited-state potential energy surfaces than are accessible with direct vertical excitation in the visible or UV. The quantum yield for cycloreversion increases by a factor of 3.5 ± 0.9 compared with one-photon excitation when the delay between the 500 nm pump and 800 nm repump laser pulses increases beyond ~100 fs, in contrast with a slower ~3 ps increase that was previously observed for one-color sequential excitation at 500 nm. The evolution of an excited-state absorption band reveals the dynamics of the higher-lying excited state for both one-photon excitation in the UV and sequential two-photon excitation. The spectroscopy and dynamics of the higher-lying excited state are similar for both excitation pathways, including a lifetime of ~100 fs. The complementary PP and PReP measurements provide a detailed picture of the ultrafast excited-state dynamics, including new insight on the role of excited states above S1 in controlling the photochemical cycloreversion reaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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