skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on June 1, 2023

Title: Ultrafast branching in intersystem crossing dynamics revealed by coherent vibrational wavepacket motions in a bimetallic Pt( ii ) complex
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 the more » 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
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1955806 1955795
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10345347
Journal Name:
Faraday Discussions
ISSN:
1359-6640
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Photochemistry powers numerous processes from luminescence and human vision, to light harvesting. However, the elucidation of multidimensional photochemical reaction coordinates on molecular timescales remains challenging. We developed wavelength-tunable femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy to simultaneously achieve pre-resonance enhancement for transient reactant and product species of the widely used photoacid pyranine undergoing excited-state proton transfer (ESPT) reaction in solution. In the low-frequency region, the 280 cm −1 ring deformation mode following 400 nm photoexcitation exhibits pronounced intensity oscillations on the sub-picosecond timescale due to anharmonic vibrational coupling to the 180 cm −1 hydrogen-bond stretching mode only in ESPT-capable solvents, indicating a primary event of functional relevance. This leads to the contact ion pair formation on the 3 ps timescale before diffusion-controlled separation. The intermolecular 180 cm −1 mode also reveals vibrational cooling time constants, ∼500 fs and 45 ps in both H 2 O and D 2 O, which differ from ESPT time constants of ∼3/8 and 90/250 ps in H 2 O/D 2 O, respectively. Spectral results using H 2 18 O further substantiate the functional role of the intermolecular 180 cm −1 mode in modulating the distance between proton donor and acceptor and forming the transient ion pair. The directmore »observation of molecular structural evolution across a wide spectral region during photochemical reactions enriches our fundamental understanding of potential energy surface and holds the key to advancing energy and biological sciences with exceptional atomic and temporal precision.« less
  2. Cyanobacteriochromes (CBCRs) are promising optogenetic tools for their diverse absorption properties with a single compact cofactor-binding domain. We previously uncovered the ultrafast reversible photoswitching dynamics of a red/green photoreceptor AnPixJg2, which binds phycocyanobilin (PCB) that is unavailable in mammalian cells. Biliverdin (BV) is a mammalian cofactor with a similar structure to PCB but exhibits redder absorption. To improve the AnPixJg2 feasibility in mammalian applications, AnPixJg2_BV4 with only four mutations has been engineered to incorporate BV. Herein, we implemented femtosecond transient absorption (fs-TA) and ground state femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy (GS-FSRS) to uncover transient electronic dynamics on molecular time scales and key structural motions responsible for the photoconversion of AnPixJg2_BV4 with PCB (Bpcb) and BV (Bbv) cofactors in comparison with the parent AnPixJg2 (Apcb). Bpcb adopts the same photoconversion scheme as Apcb, while BV4 mutations create a less bulky environment around the cofactor D ring that promotes a faster twist. The engineered Bbv employs a reversible clockwise/counterclockwise photoswitching that requires a two-step twist on ~5 and 35 picosecond (ps) time scales. The primary forward Pfr → Po transition displays equal amplitude weights between the two processes before reaching a conical intersection. In contrast, the primary reverse Po → Pfr transition showsmore »a 2:1 weight ratio of the ~35 ps over 5 ps component, implying notable changes to the D-ring-twisting pathway. Moreover, we performed pre-resonance GS-FSRS and quantum calculations to identify the Bbv vibrational marker bands at ~659,797, and 1225 cm−1. These modes reveal a stronger H-bonding network around the BV cofactor A ring with BV4 mutations, corroborating the D-ring-dominant reversible photoswitching pathway in the excited state. Implementation of BV4 mutations in other PCB-binding GAF domains like AnPixJg4, AM1_1870g3, and NpF2164g5 could promote similar efficient reversible photoswitching for more directional bioimaging and optogenetic applications, and inspire other bioengineering advances.« less
  3. Organic Polymer-based photovoltaic systems offer a viable alternative to more standard solid-state devices for light-harvesting applications. In this study, we investigate the electronic dynamics of a model organic photovoltaic (OPV) heterojunction consisting of polyphenylene vinylene (PPV) oligomers and a [ 6,6 ] -phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) blend. Our approach treats the classical molecular dynamics of the atoms within an Ehrenfest mean-field treatment of the π - π ⁎ singly excited states spanning a subset of donor and acceptor molecules near the phase boundary of the blend. Our results indicate that interfacial electronic states are modulated by C=C bond stretching motions and that such motions induce avoided crossings between nearby excited states thereby facilitating transitions from localized excitonic configurations to delocalized charge-separated configurations on an ultrafast time-scale. The lowest few excited states of the model interface rapidly mix allowing low frequency C-C out-of-plane torsions to modulate the potential energy surface such that the system can sample both intermolecular charge-transfer and charge-separated electronic configurations on sub-100 fs time scales. Our simulations support an emerging picture of carrier generation in OPV systems in which interfacial electronic states can rapidly decay into charge-separated and current producing states via coupling to vibronic degrees ofmore »freedom.« less
  4. Bis(bithienyl)-1,2-dicyanoethene (4TCE) is a photoswitch that operates via reversible E / Z photoisomerization following absorption of visible light. cis -to- trans photoisomerization of 4TCE requires excitation below 470 nm, is relatively inefficient (quantum yield < 5%) and occurs via the lowest-lying triplet. We present excitation-wavelength dependent (565–420 nm) transient absorption (TA) studies to probe the photophysics of cis -to- trans isomerization to identify sources of switching inefficiency. TA data reveals contributions from more than one switch conformer and relaxation cascades between multiple states. Fast (∼4 ps) and slow (∼40 ps) components of spectral dynamics observed at low excitation energies (>470 nm) are readily attributed to deactivation of two conformers; this assignment is supported by computed thermal populations and absorption strengths of two molecular geometries (P A and P B ) characterized by roughly parallel dipoles for the thiophenes on opposite sides of the ethene bond. Only the P B conformer is found to contribute to triplet population and the switching of cis -4TCE: high-energy excitation (<470 nm) of P B involves direct excitation to S 2 , relaxation from which prepares an ISC-active S 1 geometry (ISC QY 0.4–0.67, k ISC ∼ 1.6–2.6 × 10 −9 s −1 ) thatmore »is the gateway to triplet population and isomerization. We ascribe low cis -to- trans isomerization yield to excitation of the nonreactive P A conformer (75–85% loss) as well as loses along the P B S 2 → S 1 → T 1 cascade (10–20% loss). In contrast, electrocyclization is inhibited by the electronic character of the excited states, as well as a non-existent thermal population of a reactive “antiparallel” ring conformation.« less
  5. Exploiting earth-abundant iron-based metal complexes as high-performance photosensitizers demands long-lived electronically excited metal-to-ligand charge-transfer (MLCT) states, but these species suffer typically from femtosecond timescale charge-transfer (CT)-state quenching by low-lying nonreactive metal-centered (MC) states. Here, we engineer supermolecular Fe(II) chromophores based on the bis(tridentate-ligand)metal(II)-ethyne-(porphinato)zinc(II) conjugated framework, previously shown to give rise to highly delocalized low-lying 3 MLCT states for other Group VIII metal (Ru, Os) complexes. Electronic spectral, potentiometric, and ultrafast pump–probe transient dynamical data demonstrate that a combination of a strong σ-donating tridentate ligand and a (porphinato)zinc(II) moiety with low-lying π*-energy levels, sufficiently destabilize MC states and stabilize supermolecular MLCT states to realize Fe(II) complexes that express 3 MLCT state photophysics reminiscent of their heavy-metal analogs. The resulting Fe(II) chromophore archetype, FeNHCPZn, features a highly polarized CT state having a profoundly extended 3 MLCT lifetime (160 ps), 3 MLCT phosphorescence, and ambient environment stability. Density functional and domain-based local pair natural orbital coupled cluster [DLPNO-CCSD(T)] theory reveal triplet-state wavefunction spatial distributions consistent with electronic spectroscopic and excited-state dynamical data, further underscoring the dramatic Fe metal-to-extended ligand CT character of electronically excited FeNHCPZn. This design further prompts intense panchromatic absorptivity via redistributing high-energy absorptive oscillator strength throughout the visible spectral domain,more »while maintaining a substantial excited-state oxidation potential for wide-ranging photochemistry––highlighted by the ability of FeNHCPZn to photoinject charges into a SnO 2 /FTO electrode in a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) architecture. Concepts enumerated herein afford opportunities for replacing traditional rare-metal–based emitters for solar-energy conversion and photoluminescence applications.« less