skip to main content

Title: Vibronic coherence evolution in multidimensional ultrafast photochemical processes

The complex choreography of electronic, vibrational, and vibronic couplings used by photoexcited molecules to transfer energy efficiently is remarkable, but an unambiguous description of the temporally evolving vibronic states governing these processes has proven experimentally elusive. We use multidimensional electronic-vibrational spectroscopy to identify specific time-dependent excited state vibronic couplings involving multiple electronic states, high-frequency vibrations, and low-frequency vibrations which participate in ultrafast intersystem crossing and subsequent relaxation of a photoexcited transition metal complex. We discover an excited state vibronic mechanism driving long-lived charge separation consisting of an initial electronically-localized vibrational wavepacket which triggers delocalization onto two charge transfer states after propagating for ~600 femtoseconds. Electronic delocalization consequently occurs through nonadiabatic internal conversion driven by a 50 cm−1coupling resulting in vibronic coherence transfer lasting for ~1 picosecond. This study showcases the power of multidimensional electronic-vibrational spectroscopy to elucidate complex, non-equilibrium energy and charge transfer mechanisms involving multiple molecular coordinates.

; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Interactions of electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom are essential for understanding excited-states relaxation pathways of molecular systems at interfaces and surfaces. Here, we present the development of interface-specific two-dimensional electronic–vibrational sum frequency generation (2D-EVSFG) spectroscopy for electronic–vibrational couplings for excited states at interfaces and surfaces. We demonstrate this 2D-EVSFG technique by investigating photoexcited interface-active ( E )-4-((4-(dihexylamino) phenyl)diazinyl)-1-methylpyridin-1- lum (AP3) molecules at the air–water interface as an example. Our 2D-EVSFG experiments show strong vibronic couplings of interfacial AP3 molecules upon photoexcitation and subsequent relaxation of a locally excited (LE) state. Time-dependent 2D-EVSFG experiments indicate that the relaxation of the LE state, S 2 , is strongly coupled with two high-frequency modes of 1,529.1 and 1,568.1 cm −1 . Quantum chemistry calculations further verify that the strong vibronic couplings of the two vibrations promote the transition from the S 2 state to the lower excited state S 1 . We believe that this development of 2D-EVSFG opens up an avenue of understanding excited-state dynamics related to interfaces and surfaces.
  2. Ultrafast excited state processes of transition metal complexes (TMCs) are governed by complicated interplays between electronic and nuclear dynamics, which demand a detailed understanding to achieve optimal functionalities of photoactive TMC-based materials for many applications. In this work, we investigated a cyclometalated platinum( ii ) dimer known to undergo a Pt–Pt bond contraction in the metal–metal-to-ligand-charge-transfer (MMLCT) excited state using femtosecond broadband transient absorption (fs-BBTA) spectroscopy in combination with geometry optimization and normal mode calculations. Using a sub-20 fs pump and broadband probe pulses in fs-BBTA spectroscopy, we were able to correlate the coherent vibrational wavepacket (CVWP) evolution with the stimulated emission (SE) dynamics of the 1 MMLCT state. The results demonstrated that the 145 cm −1 CVWP motions with the damping times of ∼0.9 ps and ∼2 ps originate from coherent Pt–Pt stretching vibrations in the singlet and triplet MMLCT states, respectively. On the basis of excited state potential energy surface calculations in our previous work, we rationalized that the CVWP transfer from the Franck–Condon (FC) state to the 3 MMLCT state was mediated by a triplet ligand-centered ( 3 LC) intermediate state through two step intersystem crossing (ISC) on a time scale shorter than a period of themore »Pt–Pt stretching wavepacket motions. Moreover, it was found that the CVWP motion had 110 cm −1 frequency decays with the damping time of ∼0.2 ps, matching the time constant of 0.253 ps, corresponding to a redshift in the SE feature at early times. This observation indicates that the Pt–Pt bond contraction changes the stretching frequency from 110 to 145 cm −1 and stabilizes the 1 MMLCT state relative to the 3 LC state with a ∼0.2 ps time scale. Thus, the ultrafast ISC from the 1 MMLCT to the 3 LC states occurs before the Pt–Pt bond shortening. The findings herein provide insight into understanding the impact of Pt–Pt bond contraction on the ultrafast branching of the 1 MMLCT population into the direct ( 1 MMLCT → 3 MMLCT) and indirect ISC pathways ( 1 MMLCT → 3 LC → 3 MMLCT) in the Pt( ii ) dimer. These results revealed intricate excited state electronic and nuclear motions that could steer the reaction pathways with a level of detail that has not been achieved before.« less
  3. We report fully quantum mechanical simulations of excitation energy transfer within the peripheral light harvesting complex (LH2) of Rhodopseudomonas molischianum at room temperature. The exciton–vibration Hamiltonian comprises the 16 singly excited bacteriochlorophyll states of the B850 (inner) ring and the 8 states of the B800 (outer) ring with all available electronic couplings. The electronic states of each chromophore couple to 50 intramolecular vibrational modes with spectroscopically determined Huang–Rhys factors and to a weakly dissipative bath that models the biomolecular environment. Simulations of the excitation energy transfer following photoexcitation of various electronic eigenstates are performed using the numerically exact small matrix decomposition of the quasiadiabatic propagator path integral. We find that the energy relaxation process in the 24-state system is highly nontrivial. When the photoexcited state comprises primarily B800 pigments, a rapid intra-band redistribution of the energy sharply transitions to a significantly slower relaxation component that transfers 90% of the excitation energy to the B850 ring. The mixed character B850* state lacks the slow component and equilibrates very rapidly, providing an alternative energy transfer channel. This (and also another partially mixed) state has an anomalously large equilibrium population, suggesting a shift to lower energy by virtue of exciton–vibration coupling. The spreadmore »of the vibrationally dressed states is smaller than that of the eigenstates of the bare electronic Hamiltonian. The total population of the B800 band is found to decay exponentially with a 1/ e time of 0.5 ps, which is in good agreement with experimental results.

    « less
  4. We report two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy (2DES) experiments on the bacterial reaction center (BRC) from purple bacteria, revealing hidden vibronic and excitonic structure. Through analysis of the coherent dynamics of the BRC, we identify multiple quasi-resonances between pigment vibrations and excitonic energy gaps, and vibronic coherence transfer processes that are typically neglected in standard models of photosynthetic energy transfer and charge separation. We support our assignment with control experiments on bacteriochlorophyll and simulations of the coherent dynamics using a reduced excitonic model of the BRC. We find that specific vibronic coherence processes can readily reveal weak exciton transitions. While the functional relevance of such processes is unclear, they provide a spectroscopic tool that uses vibrations as a window for observing excited state structure and dynamics elsewhere in the BRC via vibronic coupling. Vibronic coherence transfer reveals the upper exciton of the “special pair” that was weakly visible in previous 2DES experiments.
  5. Abstract

    Ion irradiation is a versatile tool to introduce controlled defects into two-dimensional (2D) MoS2on account of its unique spatial resolution and plethora of ion types and energies available. In order to fully realise the potential of this technique, a holistic understanding of ion-induced defect production in 2D MoS2crystals of different thicknesses is mandatory. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron diffraction and Raman spectroscopy show that thinner MoS2crystals are more susceptible to radiation damage caused by 225 keV Xe+ions. However, the rate of defect production in quadrilayer and bulk crystals is not significantly different under our experimental conditions. The rate at which S atoms are sputtered as a function of radiation exposure is considerably higher for monolayer MoS2, compared to bulk crystals, leading to MoO3formation. P-doping of MoS2is observed and attributed to the acceptor states introduced by vacancies and charge transfer interactions with adsorbed species. Moreover, the out-of-plane vibrational properties of irradiated MoS2crystals are shown to be strongly thickness-dependent: in mono- and bilayer MoS2, the confinement of phonons by defects results in a blueshift of theA1gmode. Whereas, a redshift is observed in bulk crystals due to attenuation of the effective restoring forces acting on S atoms caused by vacanciesmore »in adjacent MoS2layers. Consequently, theA1gfrequency of tri- and quadrilayer crystals is statistically invariant on account oft competition between phonon confinement effects and interlayer interactions. TheA1glinewidth is observed to decrease in bi- and trilayer crystals after low dose irradiation and is attributed to layer decoupling. This work shows that there is a complex interplay between defect production, crystal thickness and interlayer interactions in MoS2. Our results demonstrate that ion irradiation is an effective tool to modulate the electronic, vibrational and structural properties of MoS2, which may prove beneficial for practical applications.

    « less