American Chemical Society
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Probing Dynamics in Higher-Lying Electronic States with Resonance-Enhanced Femtosecond Stimulated Raman Spectroscopy

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-09-26, 00:00 authored by Timothy J. Quincy, Matthew S. Barclay, Marco Caricato, Christopher G. Elles
Femtosecond stimulated Raman scattering (FSRS) measurements typically probe the structural dynamics of a molecule in the first electronically excited state, S1. While these measurements often rely on an electronic resonance condition to increase signal strength or enhance species selectivity, the effects of the resonance condition are usually neglected. However, mode-specific enhancements of the vibrational transitions in an FSRS spectrum contain detailed information about the resonant (upper) electronic state. Analogous to ground-state resonance Raman spectroscopy, the relative intensities of the Raman bands reveal displacements of the upper potential energy surface due to changes in the bonding pattern upon Sn ← S1 electronic excitation, and therefore provide a sensitive probe of the ultrafast dynamics in the higher-lying state, Sn. Raman gain profiles from the wavelength-dependent FSRS spectrum of the model compound 2,5-diphenylthiophene (DPT) reveal several modes with large displacement in the upper potential energy surface, including strong enhancement of a delocalized C–S–C stretching and ring deformation mode. The experimental results provide a benchmark for comparison with calculated spectra using time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) and equation-of-motion coupled-cluster theory with single and double excitations (EOM-CCSD), where the calculations are based on the time-dependent formalism for resonance Raman spectroscopy. The simulated spectra are obtained from S1–Sn transition strengths and the energy gradients of the upper (Sn) potential energy surfaces along the S1 normal mode coordinates. The experimental results provide a stringent test of the computational approach, and indicate important limitations based on the level of theory and basis set. This work provides a foundation for making more accurate assignments of resonance-enhanced excited-state Raman spectra, as well as extracting novel information about higher-lying excited states in the transient absorption spectrum of a molecule.