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A Quantum Dynamics Study of the Ultrafast Relaxation in a Prototypical Cu(I)-Phenanthroline

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Thomas Penfold


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The ultrafast nonadiabatic dynamics of a prototypical Cu(I)–phenanthroline complex, [Cu(dmp)2]+ (dmp = 2,9-dimethyl-1,10-phenanthroline), initiated after photoexcitation into the optically bright metal-to-ligand charge-transfer (MLCT) state (S3) is investigated using quantum nuclear dynamics. In agreement with recent experimental conclusions, we find that the system undergoes rapid (∼100 fs) internal conversion from S3 into the S2 and S1 states at or near the Franck–Condon (FC) geometry. This is preceded by a dynamic component with a time constant of ∼400 fs, which corresponds to the flattening of the ligands associated with the pseudo Jahn–Teller distortion. Importantly, our simulations demonstrate that this latter aspect is in competition with subpicosecond intersystem crossing (ISC). The mechanism for ISC is shown to be a dynamic effect, in the sense that it arises from the system traversing the pseudo Jahn–Teller coordinate where the singlet and triplet states become degenerate, leading to efficient crossing. These first-principles quantum dynamics simulations, in conjunction with recent experiments, allow us to clearly resolve the mechanistic details of the ultrafast dynamics within [Cu(dmp)2]+, which have been disputed in the literature.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Capano G, Chergui M, Rothlisberger U, Tavernelli I, Penfold TJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Physical Chemistry A

Year: 2014

Volume: 118

Issue: 42

Pages: 9861-9869

Print publication date: 01/10/2014

Online publication date: 14/10/2014

Acceptance date: 01/10/2014

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: DOI: 10.1021/jp509728m


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