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Exploring Photoinduced Excited State Evolution in Heterobimetallic Ru(II)–Co(III) Complexes

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journal contribution
posted on 18.06.2015, 00:00 by Korina Kuhar, Lisa A. Fredin, Petter Persson
Quantum chemical calculations provide detailed theoretical information concerning key aspects of photoinduced electron and excitation transfer processes in supramolecular donor–acceptor systems, which are particularly relevant to fundamental charge separation in emerging molecular approaches for solar energy conversion. Here we use density functional theory (DFT) calculations to explore the excited state landscape of heterobimetallic Ru–Co systems with varying degrees of interaction between the two metal centers, unbound, weakly bound, and tightly bound systems. The interplay between structural and electronic factors involved in various excited state relaxation processes is examined through full optimizations of multiple charge/spin states of each of the investigated systems. Low-energy relaxed heterobimetallic states of energy transfer and excitation transfer character are characterized in terms of energy, structure, and electronic properties. These findings support the notion of efficient photoinduced charge separation from a Ru­(II)–Co­(III) ground state, via initial optical excitation of the Ru-center, to low-energy Ru­(III)–Co­(II) states. The strongly coupled system has significant involvement of the conjugated bridge, qualitatively distinguishing it from the other two weakly coupled systems. Finally, by constructing potential energy surfaces for the three systems where all charge/spin state combinations are projected onto relevant reaction coordinates, excited state decay pathways are explored.