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Correlating proton transfer dynamics to probe location in confined environments.

Journal of the American Chemical Society (2012-07-07)
Myles Sedgwick, Richard L Cole, Christopher D Rithner, Debbie C Crans, Nancy E Levinger

The dramatic impact of differing environments on proton transfer dynamics of the photoacid HPTS prompted us to investigate these systems with two highly complementary methods: ultrafast time-resolved transient absorption and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopies. Both ultrafast time-resolved transient absorption spectroscopy and time-resolved anisotropy decays demonstrate the proton transfer dynamics depend intimately on the specific reverse micellar system. For w(0) = 10 reverse micelles formed with anionic AOT surfactant, the HPTS proton transfer dynamics are similar to dynamics in bulk aqueous solution, and the corresponding (1)H 2D NOESY NMR spectra display no cross peaks between HPTS and AOT consistent with the HPTS residing well hydrated by water in the interior of the reverse micelle water pool. In contrast, ultrafast transient absorption experiments show no evidence for HPTS photoinduced proton transfer reaction in reverse micelles formed with the cationic CTAB surfactant. In CTAB reverse micelles, clear cross peaks between HPTS and CTAB in the 2D NMR spectra show that HPTS embeds in the interface. These results indicate that the environment strongly impacts the proton transfer reaction and that complementary experimental techniques develop understanding of how location critically affects molecular responses.

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