The journal of physical chemistry. A

Ultrafast forward and backward electron transfer dynamics of coumarin 337 in hydrogen-bonded anilines as studied with femtosecond UV-pump/IR-probe spectroscopy.

PMID 21192732


Femtosecond infrared spectroscopy is used to study both forward and backward electron transfer (ET) dynamics between coumarin 337 (C337) and the aromatic amine solvents aniline (AN), N-methylaniline (MAN), and N,N-dimethylaniline (DMAN), where all the aniline solvents can donate an electron but only AN and MAN can form hydrogen bonds with C337. The formation of a hydrogen bond with AN and MAN is confirmed with steady state FT-IR spectroscopy, where the C═O stretching vibration is a direct marker mode for hydrogen bond formation. Transient IR absorption measurements in all solvents show an absorption band at 2166 cm(-1), which has been attributed to the C≡N stretching vibration of the C337 radical anion formed after ET. Forward electron transfer dynamics is found to be biexponential with time constants τ(ET)(1) = 500 fs, τ(ET)(2) = 7 ps in all solvents. Despite the presence of hydrogen bonds of C337 with the solvents AN and MAN, no effect has been found on the forward electron transfer step. Because of the absence of an H/D isotope effect on the forward electron transfer reaction of C337 in AN, hydrogen bonds are understood to play a minor role in mediating electron transfer. In contrast, direct π-orbital overlap between C337 and the aromatic amine solvents causes ultrafast forward electron transfer dynamics. Backward electron transfer dynamics, in contrast, is dependent on the solvent used. Standard Marcus theory explains the observed backward electron transfer rates.