Ultrafast structural rearrangement dynamics induced by the photodetachment of phenoxide in aqueous solution.
ABSTRACT: The elementary processes that accompany the interaction of ionizing radiation with biologically relevant molecules are of fundamental importance. However, the ultrafast structural rearrangement dynamics induced by the ionization of biomolecules in aqueous solution remain hitherto unknown. Here, we employ femtosecond optical pump-probe spectroscopy to elucidate the vibrational wave packet dynamics that follow the photodetachment of phenoxide, a structural mimic of tyrosine, in aqueous solution. Photodetachment of phenoxide leads to wave packet dynamics of the phenoxyl radical along 12 different vibrational modes. Eight of the modes are totally symmetric and support structural rearrangement upon electron ejection. Comparison to a previous photodetachment study of phenoxide in the gas phase reveals the important role played by the solvent environment in driving ultrafast structural reorganization induced by ionizing radiation. This work provides insight into the ultrafast molecular dynamics that follow the interaction of ionizing radiation with molecules in aqueous solution.
Project description:Strong-field laser-molecule interaction forms much of the basis for initiating and probing ultrafast quantum dynamics. Previous studies aimed at elucidating the origins of vibrational coherences induced by intense laser fields have been confined to diatomic molecules. Furthermore, in all cases examined to date, vibrational wave packet motion is found to be induced by R-selective depletion; wave packet motion launched by bond softening, though theoretically predicted, remains hitherto unobserved. Here we employ the exquisite sensitivity of femtosecond extreme ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy to sub-picometer structural changes to observe both bond softening-induced vibrational wave packets, launched by the interaction of intense laser pulses with iodomethane, as well as multimode vibrational motion of the parent ion produced by strong-field ionization. In addition, we show that signatures of coherent vibrational motion in the time-dependent extreme ultraviolet absorption spectra directly furnish vibronic coupling strengths involving core-level transitions, from which geometrical parameters of transient core-excited states are extracted.Nuclear dynamics of polyatomic molecules involves multiple degrees of freedom and is challenging to explore. Here the authors study the internuclear distance-dependent depletion and bond-softening induced vibrational wavepacket dynamics of CH3I molecules using femtosecond XUV transient absorption spectroscopy.
Project description:The ultrafast dynamics of CS(2) in the (1)B(2)((1)?(u)(+)) state was studied by photoelectron imaging with a time resolution of 22 fs. The photoelectron signal intensity exhibited clear vibrational quantum beats due to wave packet motion. The signal intensity decayed with a lifetime of about 400 fs. This decay was preceded by a lag of around 30 fs, which was considered to correspond to the time for a vibrational wave packet to propagate from the Franck-Condon region to the region where predissociation occurred. The photoelectron angular distribution remained constant when the pump-probe delay time was varied. Consequently, variation of the electronic character caused by the vibrational wave packet motion was not identified within the accuracy of our measurements.
Project description:The description of ultrafast nonadiabatic chemical dynamics during molecular photo-transformations remains challenging because electronic and nuclear configurations impact each other and cannot be treated independently. Here we gain experimental insights, beyond the Born-Oppenheimer approximation, into the light-induced spin-state trapping dynamics of the prototypical [Fe(bpy)3]2+ compound by time-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy at sub-30-femtosecond resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio. The electronic decay from the initial optically excited electronic state towards the high spin state is distinguished from the structural trapping dynamics, which launches a coherent oscillating wave packet (265?fs period), clearly identified as molecular breathing. Throughout the structural trapping, the dispersion of the wave packet along the reaction coordinate reveals details of intramolecular vibronic coupling before a slower vibrational energy dissipation to the solution environment. These findings illustrate how modern time-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy can provide key information to unravel dynamic details of photo-functional molecules.
Project description:Coherent multidimensional electronic spectroscopy is commonly used to investigate photophysical phenomena such as light harvesting in photosynthesis in which the system returns back to its ground state after energy transfer. By contrast, we introduce multidimensional spectroscopy to study ultrafast photochemical processes in which the investigated molecule changes permanently. Exemplarily, the emergence in 2D and 3D spectra of a cross-peak between reactant and product reveals the cis-trans photoisomerization of merocyanine isomers. These compounds have applications in organic photovoltaics and optical data storage. Cross-peak oscillations originate from a vibrational wave packet in the electronically excited state of the photoproduct. This concept isolates the isomerization dynamics along different vibrational coordinates assigned by quantum-chemical calculations, and is applicable to determine chemical dynamics in complex photoreactive networks.
Project description:Changes of molecular spin are ubiquitous in chemistry and biology. Among spin flip processes, one of the fastest is intersystem crossing (ISC) in transition metal complexes. Here, we investigate the spin relaxation dynamics and emission spectrum of [Re(CO)3(im)(phen)]+ (im = imidazole, phen = phenanthroline) using extensive full-dimensional excited-state dynamics simulations in explicit aqueous solution. Contrary to what has been observed in other transition metal complexes, the transition from the singlet to triplet states occurs via a two-step process, with clearly separable electronic and nuclear-driven components with two different time scales. The initially excited electronic wave function is a "molecular spin-orbit wave packet" that evolves almost instantaneously, with an 8 fs time constant, into an approximate 25?:?75 singlet-to-triplet equilibrium. Surprisingly, this ISC process is an order of magnitude faster than it was previously documented for this and other rhenium(i) carbonyl diimine complexes from emission spectra. Simulations including explicit laser field interactions evidence that few-cycle UV laser pulses are required to follow the creation and evolution of such molecular spin-orbit wave packets. The analysis of the dynamics also reveals a retarded ISC component, with a time constant of 420 fs, which can be explained invoking intramolecular vibrational energy redistribution. The emission spectrum is shown to be characterized by ISC convoluted with internal conversion and vibrational relaxation. These results provide fundamental understanding of ultrafast intersystem crossing in transition metal complexes.
Project description:Ultrafast vibrational spectra of the aqueous oxalate ion in the region of its carboxylate asymmetric stretch modes show novel relaxation processes. Two-dimensional infrared vibrational echo spectra and the vibrational dynamics obtained from them along with measurements of the anisotropy decay provide a picture in which the localization of the oxalate vibrational excitation onto the carboxylate groups occurs in ~450 fs. Molecular dynamics simulations are used to characterize the vibrational dynamics in terms of dihedral angle motion between the two carboxylate planes and solvation dynamics. The localization of the oxalate vibrational excitation onto the carboxylates is induced by the fluctuations in the carboxylate vibrational frequencies which are shown by theory and experiment to have a similar correlation time as the anisotropy decay.
Project description:Interfaces of liquid water play a critical role in a wide variety of processes that occur in biology, a variety of technologies, and the environment. Many macroscopic observations clarify that the properties of liquid water interfaces significantly differ from those of the bulk liquid. In addition to interfacial molecular structure, knowledge of the rates and mechanisms of the relaxation of excess vibrational energy is indispensable to fully understand physical and chemical processes of water and aqueous solutions, such as chemical reaction rates and pathways, proton transfer, and hydrogen bond dynamics. Here we elucidate the rate and mechanism of vibrational energy dissipation of water molecules at the air-water interface using femtosecond two-color IR-pump/vibrational sum-frequency probe spectroscopy. Vibrational relaxation of nonhydrogen-bonded OH groups occurs at a subpicosecond timescale in a manner fundamentally different from hydrogen-bonded OH groups in bulk, through two competing mechanisms: intramolecular energy transfer and ultrafast reorientational motion that leads to free OH groups becoming hydrogen bonded. Both pathways effectively lead to the transfer of the excited vibrational modes from free to hydrogen-bonded OH groups, from which relaxation readily occurs. Of the overall relaxation rate of interfacial free OH groups at the air-H2O interface, two-thirds are accounted for by intramolecular energy transfer, whereas the remaining one-third is dominated by the reorientational motion. These findings not only shed light on vibrational energy dynamics of interfacial water, but also contribute to our understanding of the impact of structural and vibrational dynamics on the vibrational sum-frequency line shapes of aqueous interfaces.
Project description:The reaction F + H2O ? HF + OH is a four-atom system that provides an important benchmark for reaction dynamics. Hydrogen atom transfer at the transition state for this reaction is expected to exhibit a strong dependence on reactant vibrational excitation. In the present study, the vibrational effects are examined by photodetachment of vibrationally excited F-(H2O) precursor anions using photoelectron-photofragment coincidence (PPC) spectroscopy and compared with full six-dimensional quantum dynamical calculations on ab initio potential energy surfaces. Prior to photodetachment at h?UV = 4.80 eV, the overtone of the ionic hydrogen bond mode in the precursor F-(H2O), 2?IHB at 2885 cm-1, was excited using a tunable IR laser. Experiment and theory show that vibrational energy in the anion can be effectively carried away by the photoelectron upon a Franck-Condon photodetachment, and also show evidence for an increase of branching into the F + H2O reactant channel. The experimental results suggest a greater role for product rotational excitation than theory. Improved potential energy surfaces and longer wavepacket propagation times would be helpful to further examine the nature of the discrepancy.
Project description:Singlet fission is a spin-allowed exciton multiplication process in organic semiconductors that converts one spin-singlet exciton to two triplet excitons. It offers the potential to enhance solar energy conversion by circumventing the Shockley-Queisser limit on efficiency. We study the primary steps of singlet fission in a pentacene film by using a combination of TG and 2D electronic spectroscopy complemented by quantum chemical and nonadiabatic dynamics calculations. We show that the coherent vibrational dynamics induces the ultrafast transition from the singlet excited electronic state to the triplet-pair state via a degeneracy of potential energy surfaces, i.e., a multidimensional conical intersection. Significant vibronic coupling of the electronic wave packet to a few key intermolecular rocking modes in the low-frequency region connect the excited singlet and triplet-pair states. Along with high-frequency local vibrations acting as tuning modes, they open a new channel for the ultrafast exciton transfer through the resulting conical intersection.
Project description:The degenerate transition corresponding to asymmetric stretches of the D(3h) tricyanomethanide anion, C(CN)(3)(-), in aqueous solution was investigated by linear FTIR spectroscopy, femtosecond pump–probe spectroscopy, and 2D IR spectroscopy. Time resolved vibrational spectroscopy shows that water induces vibrational energy transfer between the degenerate asymmetric stretch modes of tricyanomethanide. The frequency–frequency correlation function and the vibrational energy transfer show two significantly different ultrafast time scales. The system is modeled with molecular dynamics simulations and ab initio calculations. A new model for theoretically describing the vibrational dynamics of a degenerate transition is presented. Microscopic models, where water interacts axially and radially with the ion, are suggested for the transition dipole reorientation mechanism.