Femtosecond infrared study of the dynamics of solvation and solvent caging

H. Yang, P. T. Snee, K. T. Kotz, C. K. Payne, C. B. Harris

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32 Scopus citations


The ultrafast reaction dynamics following 295-nm photodissociation of Re2(CO)1O were studied experimentally with 300-fs time resolution in the reactive, strongly coordinating CCl4 solution and in the inert, weakly coordinating hexane solution. Density-functional theoretical (DFT) and ab initio calculations were used to further characterize the transient intermediates seen in the experiments. It was found that the quantum yield of the Re-Re bond dissociation is governed by geminate recombination on two time scales in CCl4, ∼50 and ∼500 ps. The recombination dynamics are discussed in terms of solvent caging in which the geminate Re(CO)5 pair has a low probability to escape the first solvent shell in the first few picoseconds after femtosecond photolysis. The other photofragmentation channel resulted in the equatorially solvated dirhenium nonacarbonyl eq-Re2(CO)9(solvent). Theoretical calculations indicated that a structural reorganization energy cost on the order of 6-7 kcal/mol might be required for the unsolvated nonacarbonyl to coordinate to a solvent molecule. These results suggest that for Re(CO)5 the solvent can be treated as a viscous continuum, whereas for the Re2(CO)9 the solvent is best described in molecular terms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4204-4210
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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