Photophysics and dynamics of the lowest excited singlet state in long substituted polyenes with implications to the very long-chain limit

Andersson, Per Ola; Gillbro, Tomas
August 1995
Journal of Chemical Physics;8/15/1995, Vol. 103 Issue 7, p2509
Academic Journal
In this paper we explore the intramolecular relaxation processes within two long carotenoids, namely decapreno-β-carotene (M15) and dodecapreno-β-carotene (M19) with 15 and 19 conjugated double bonds (N), respectively. Amplified 200 fs pulses at 590 nm were used to excite the optically allowed S0→S2 (1 1Ag→1 1Bu) transition of the two carotenoids. The excited state dynamics were probed by continuum light between 400–890 nm in solvents with different polarizabilities. The transient absorption spectra consist of a bleaching region, due to loss of ground state absorption, and of an excited state absorption region at longer wavelengths, due to the S1→Sn transition. The Sn state was assigned to an n 1Bu state. The overall wavelength dependence of the measured kinetics could be well described by introducing three decay time constants. One reflects the S1 lifetime (τ1) and was determined to 1.1 and 0.5 ps for M15 and M19, respectively. A second lifetime, between 5 and 15 ps, was attributed to vibrational cooling in the ground state. A third decay time was in the subpicosecond range, and was ascribed to the vibrational redistribution and relaxation of the S1 potential surface after being populated by the subpicosecond S2–S1 internal conversion. No significant change of the decay constants was observed for M15 embedded in a 77 K matrix. This shows that the relaxation rates are only influenced by intramolecular processes. The S2 lifetime was shorter than the pulse duration and was estimated to be in the order of 100 fs. The S0→S2 transition of M15 in the liquid phase exhibits a 0.39 anisotropy at short times, while the S1→Sn transition has an initial value of only 0.31. This corresponds to an angle of 23° between the transition dipoles. The measured S1 rate constants were analyzed, together with decay constants of shorter carotenes, in terms of the energy gap law. When going from the shortest (N=5) to...


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