skip to main content

Title: Proton Transfer from a Photoacid to Water: First Principles Simulations and Fast Fluorescence Spectroscopy
investigate photo-induced proton transfer between the photoacid 8-hydroxypyrene-1,3,6-trisulfonate (HPTS) and water using fast fluorescence spectroscopy and ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. Photo-excitation causes rapid proton release from the HPTS hydroxyl. Previous experiments on HPTS/water described the progress from photoexcitation to proton diffusion using kinetic equations with two time constants. The shortest time constant has been interpreted as protonated and photoexcited HPTS evolving into an “associated” state, where the proton is “shared” between the HPTS hydroxyl and an originally hydrogen bonded water. The longer time constant has been interpreted as indicating evolution to a “solvent separated” state where the shared proton undergoes long distance diffusion. In this work, we refine the previous experimental results using very pure HPTS. We then use excited state ab initio molecular dynamics to elucidate the detailed molecular mechanism of aqueous excited state proton transfer in HPTS. We find that the initial excitation results in rapid rearrangement of water, forming a strong hydrogen bonded network (a “water wire”) around HPTS. HPTS then deprotonates in ≤3 ps, resulting in a proton that migrates back and forth along the wire before localizing on a single water molecule. We find a near linear relationship between emission wavelength and proton-HPTS distance more » over the simulations’ time scale, suggesting that emission wavelength can be used as a ruler for proton distance. Our simulations reveal that the “associated” state corresponds to a water wire with a mobile proton and that the diffusion of the proton away from this water wire (to a generalized “solvent-separated” state) corresponds to the longest experimental time constant « less
Authors:
Editors:
Shea, Joan-Emma
Award ID(s):
1954392
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10325013
Journal Name:
Journal of physical chemistry
Volume:
125
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
12539-12551
ISSN:
1932-7455
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Shea ; Joan-Emma (Ed.)
    Proton transfer reactions are ubiquitous in chemistry, especially in aqueous solutions. We investigate photo-induced proton transfer between the photoacid 8-hydroxypyrene-1,3,6-trisulfonate (HPTS) and water using fast fluorescence spectroscopy and ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. Photo-excitation causes rapid proton release from the HPTS hydroxyl. Previous experiments on HPTS/water described the progress from photoexcitation to proton diffusion using kinetic equations with two time constants. The shortest time constant has been interpreted as protonated and photoexcited HPTS evolving into an “associated” state, where the proton is “shared” between the HPTS hydroxyl and an originally hydrogen bonded water. The longer time constant has been interpreted as indicating evolution to a “solvent separated” state where the shared proton undergoes long distance diffusion. In this work, we refine the previous experimental results using very pure HPTS. We then use excited state ab initio molecular dynamics to elucidate the detailed molecular mechanism of aqueous excited state proton transfer in HPTS. We find that the initial excitation results in rapid rearrangement of water, forming a strong hydrogen bonded network (a “water wire”) around HPTS. HPTS then deprotonates in ≤3 ps, resulting in a proton that migrates back and forth along the wire before localizing on a single water molecule.more »We find a near linear relationship between emission wavelength and proton-HPTS distance over the simulations’ time scale, suggesting that emission wavelength can be used as a ruler for proton distance. Our simulations reveal that the “associated” state corresponds to a water wire with a mobile proton and that the diffusion of the proton away from this water wire (to a generalized “solvent-separated” state) corresponds to the longest experimental time constant.« less
  2. We report the solution structure of a europium-nicotianamine complex predicted from ab initio molecular dynamics simulations with density functional theory. Emission and excitation spectroscopy show that the Eu 3+ coordination environment changes in the presence of nicotianamine, suggesting complex formation, such as what is seen for the Eu 3+ –nicotianamine complex structure predicted from computation. We modeled Eu 3+ –ligand complexes with explicit water molecules in periodic boxes, effectively simulating the solution phase. Our simulations consider possible chemical events ( e.g. coordination bond formation, protonation state changes, charge transfers), as well as ligand flexibility and solvent rearrangements. Our computational approach correctly predicts the solution structure of a Eu 3+ –ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid complex within 0.05 Å of experimentally measured values, backing the fidelity of the predicted solution structure of the Eu 3+ –nicotianamine complex. Emission and excitation spectroscopy measurements were also performed on the well-known Eu 3+ –ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid complex to validate our experimental methods. The electronic structure of the Eu 3+ –nicotianamine complex is analyzed to describe the complexes in greater detail. Nicotianamine is a metabolic precursor of, and structurally very similar to, phytosiderophores, which are responsible for the uptake of metals in plants. Although knowledge that nicotianamine binds europiummore »does not determine how plants uptake rare earths from the environment, it strongly supports that phytosiderophores bind lanthanides.« less
  3. The basicity constant, or p K b , is an intrinsic physical property of bases that gives a measure of its proton affinity in macroscopic environments. While the p K b is typically defined in reference to the bulk aqueous phase, several studies have suggested that this value can differ significantly at the air–water interface (which can have significant ramifications for particle surface chemistry and aerosol growth modeling). To provide mechanistic insight into surface proton affinity, we carried out ab initio metadynamics calculations to (1) explore the free-energy profile of dimethylamine and (2) provide reasonable estimates of the p K b value in different solvent environments. We find that the free-energy profiles obtained with our metadynamics calculations show a dramatic variation, with interfacial aqueous dimethylamine p K b values being significantly lower than in the bulk aqueous environment. Furthermore, our metadynamics calculations indicate that these variations are due to reduced hydrogen bonding at the air–water surface. Taken together, our quantum mechanical metadynamics calculations show that the reactivity of dimethylamine is surprisingly complex, leading to p K b variations that critically depend on the different atomic interactions occurring at the microscopic molecular level.
  4. The field-effect electron mobility of aqueous solution-processed indium gallium oxide (IGO) thin-film transistors (TFTs) is significantly enhanced by polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) addition to the precursor solution, a >70-fold increase to 7.9 cm2/Vs. To understand the origin of this remarkable phenomenon, microstructure, electronic structure, and charge transport of IGO:PVA film are investigated by a battery of experimental and theoretical techniques, including In K-edge and Ga K-edge extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS); resonant soft X-ray scattering (R-SoXS); ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS); Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy; time-of-flight secondary-ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS); composition-/processing-dependent TFT properties; high-resolution solid-state1H,71Ga, and115In NMR spectroscopy; and discrete Fourier transform (DFT) analysis with ab initio molecular dynamics (MD) liquid-quench simulations. The71Ga{1H} rotational-echo double-resonance (REDOR) NMR and other data indicate that PVA achieves optimal H doping with a Ga···H distance of ∼3.4 Å and conversion from six- to four-coordinate Ga, which together suppress deep trap defect localization. This reduces metal-oxide polyhedral distortion, thereby increasing the electron mobility. Hydroxyl polymer doping thus offers a pathway for efficient H doping in green solvent-processed metal oxide films and the promise of high-performance, ultra-stable metal oxide semiconductor electronics with simple binary compositions.

  5. The significance of solvent structural factors in the excited-state proton transfer (ESPT) reactions of Schiff bases with alcohols is reported here. We use the super photobase FR0 -SB and a series of primary, secondary, and tertiary alcohol solvents to illustrate the steric issues associated with solvent to photobase proton transfer. Steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence data show that ESPT occurs readily for primary alcohols, with a probability proportional to the relative –OH concentration. For secondary alcohols, ESPT is greatly diminished, consistent with the barrier heights obtained using quantum chemistry calculations. ESPT is not observed in the tertiary alcohol. We explain ESPT using a model involving an intermediate hydrogen-bonded complex where the proton is “shared” by the Schiff base and the alcohol. The formation of this complex depends on the ability of the alcohol solvent to achieve spatial proximity to and alignment with the FR0 -SB* imine lone pair stabilized by the solvent environment.