Computational Design of Molecular Motors and Excited-State Studies of Organic Chromophores
Sammanfattning: This thesis presents computational quantum chemical studies of molecular motors and excited electronic states of organic chromophores.The first and major part of the thesis is concerned with the design of light-driven rotary molecular motors. These are molecules that absorb light energy and convert it into 360° unidirectional rotary motion around a double bond connecting two molecular halves. In order to facilitate potential applications of molecular motors in nanotechnology, such as in molecular transport or in development of materials with photo-controllable properties, it is critical to optimize the rates and efficiencies of the chemical reactions that produce the rotary motion. To this end, computational methods are in this thesis used to study two different classes of molecular motors.The first class encompasses the sterically overcrowded alkenes developed by Ben Feringa, co-recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The rotary cycles of these motors involve two photoisomerization and two thermal isomerization steps, where the latter are the ones that limit the attainable rotational frequencies. In the thesis, several new motors of this type are proposed by identifying steric, electronic and conformational approaches to accelerate the thermal isomerizations. The second class contains motors that incorporate a protonated Schiff base and are capable to achieve higher photoisomerization rates than overcrowded alkene-based motors. In the thesis, a new motor of this type is proposed that produces unidirectional rotary motion by means of two photochemical steps alone. Also, this motor lacks both a stereocenter and helical motifs, which are key features of almost all synthetic rotary motors developed to date.The second part of the thesis focuses on the design and assessment of composite computational procedures for modeling excited electronic states of organic chromophores. In particular, emphasis is put on developing procedures that facilitate the calculations of accurate 0−0 excitation energies of such compounds in a costeffective way by combining quantum chemical methods with different accuracies.
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