The excited-state dynamics of an aniline-triazine electron donor-acceptor dyad with an alkyne spacer has been investigated using a combination of ultrafast broadband mid-IR and visible transient absorption and fluorescence spectroscopies. The transient IR data reveal the occurrence of an efficient alkyne to allene isomerization of the spacer with a time constant increasing from a few hundreds of femtoseconds to a few picoseconds with solvent viscosity. This process is faster than the vibrational cooling of the Franck-Condon excited state, indicative of nonequilibrium dynamics. The transient electronic absorption and fluorescence data evidence that this transformation is accompanied by a charge separation between the donor and the acceptor subunits. The allene character of the spacer implies an orthogonal orientation of the donor and acceptor moieties, similar to that proposed for twisted intramolecular charge-transfer states. Such states are often invoked in the excited-state dynamics of donor-acceptor dyads, but their involvement could never be unambiguously evidenced spectroscopically. The alkyne-allene isomerization involves not only a torsional motion but also a bending of the molecule due to the sp to sp2 rehybridization of one of the alkyne carbon atoms. This twisted and rehybridized intramolecular charge transfer ("TRICT") state decays back to the planar and linear alkyne ground state on a time scale decreasing from a few hundred to ten picoseconds upon going from weakly to highly polar solvents. The different solvent dependencies reveal that the dynamics of the allene buildup are controlled by the structural changes, whereas the decay is limited by the charge recombination step.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry