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Through-Bond Interactions and the Localization of Excited-State Dynamics

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journal contribution
posted on 19.10.2011, 00:00 authored by Oliver Schalk, Andrey E. Boguslavskiy, Albert Stolow, Michael S. Schuurman
The influence of through-bond interactions on nonadiabatic excited-state dynamics is investigated by time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (TRPES) and ab initio computation. We compare the dynamics of cyclohexa-1,4-diene, which exhibits a through-bond interaction known as homoconjugation (the electronic correlation between nonconjugated double bonds), with the nonconjugated cyclohexene. Each molecule was initially excited to a 3s Rydberg state using a 200 nm femtosecond pump pulse. The TRPES spectra of these molecules display similar structure and time constants on a subpicosecond time scale. Our ab initio calculations show that similar sets of conical intersections (a [1,2]- and [1,3]-hydrogen shift, as well as carbon–carbon bond cleavage) are energetically accessible to both molecules and that the geometry and orbital composition at the minimum energy crossing points to the ground state are directly analogous. These experimental and computational results suggest that the excited-state dynamics of cyclohexa-1,4-diene become localized at a single double bond and that the effects of through-bond interaction, dominant in the absorption spectrum, are absent in the excited-state dynamics. The notion of excited-state dynamics being localized at specific sites within the nuclear framework is analogous to the localization of light absorption by a subsystem within the molecule, designated a chromophore. We propose the utility of the analogous concept, denoted here as a dynamophore.