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The Electronic Origin of the Dual Fluorescence in Donor−Acceptor Substituted Benzene Derivatives

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journal contribution
posted on 15.03.2006, 00:00 by Semyon Cogan, Shmuel Zilberg, Yehuda Haas
The origin of the dual fluorescence of DMABN (dimethylaminobenzonitrile) and other benzene derivatives is explained by a charge transfer model based on the properties of the benzene anion radical. It is shown that, in general, three low-lying electronically excited states are expected for these molecules, two of which are of charge transfer (CT) character, whereas the third is a locally excited (LE) state. Dual fluorescence may arise from any two of these states, as each has a different geometry at which it attains a minimum. The Jahn−Teller induced distortion of the benzene anion radical ground state helps to classify the CT states as having quinoid (Q) and antiquinoid (AQ) forms. The intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) state is formed by the transfer of an electron from a covalently linked donor group to an anti-bonding orbital of the π-electron system of benzene. The change in charge distribution of the molecule in the CT states leads to the most significant geometry change undergone by the molecule which is the distortion of the benzene ring to a Q or AQ structure. As the dipole moment is larger in the perpendicular geometry than in the planar one, this geometry is preferred in polar solvents, supporting the twisted intramolecular charge transfer (TICT) model. However, in many cases the planar conformation of CT excited states is lower in energy than that of the LE state, and dual fluorescence can be observed also from planar structures.