Ultrafast, Non-Equilibrium Electron Transfer Reactions of Molecular Complexes in Solution

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: Photoinduced electron transfer is a fundamentally interesting process; it occurs everywhere in the natural world. Studies on electron transfer shed light on questions about the interaction between molecules and how the dynamics of these can be utilized to steer the electron transfer processes to achieve a desired goal. The goal may be to get electrons to the electrode of a solar cell, or to make the electrons form an energy rich fuel such as hydrogen, and it may also be an input or output for molecular switches. The importance of electron transfer reactions will be highlighted in this thesis, however, the main motivation is to gain a better understanding of the fundamental processes that affect the rate and direction of the electron transfer.A study of photoinduced electron transfer (ET) in a series of metallophorphyrin/bipyridinium complexes in aqueous solution provided fresh insight concerning the intimate relationship between vibrational relaxation and electron transfer. The forward electron transfer from porphyrin to bipyridinium as well as the following back electron transfer to the ground state could be observed by femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy. Both the reactant and the product states of the ET processes were vibrationally unrelaxed, in contrary to what is assumed for most expressions of the ET rates. This could be understood from the observation of unrelaxed ground states. The excess energy given by the initial excitation of the porphyrin does not relax completely during the two steps of electron transfer. This is an unusual observation, not reported in the literature prior the studies presented in this thesis. This study also gave the first clear evidence of electronically excited radical pairs formed as products of intramolecular electron transfer. Signs of electronically excited radical pairs were seen in transient spectra, and were further verified by the observation that the rates followed a Marcus normal region behavior for all excitation wavelengths, despite the relatively large excess energy of the second excited state.This thesis also concerns electron transfer in solar cell dyes and mixed valence complexes. In the ruthenium polypyridyl complex Ru(dcb)2(NCS)2, where dcb = 4,4’-dicarboxy-2,2’-bipyridine, inter-ligand electron transfer (ILET) in the 3MLCT state was followed by means of femtosecond transient absorption anisotropy that was probed in the mid-IR region. Unexpectedly, ILET was not observed because electron density was localized on the same bpy during the time-window allowed by the rotational lifetime.