Slow Intramolecular Vibrational Relaxation Leads to Long-Lived Excited-State Wavepackets

Shahnawaz Rafiq, Gregory D. Scholes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Broadband optical pump and compressed white light continuum probe were used to measure the transient excited-state absorption, ground-state bleach, and stimulated emission signals of cresyl violet solution in methanol. Amplitude oscillations caused by wavepacket motion in the ground and excited electronic states were analyzed. It was found that vibrational coherences in the excited state persist for more than the experimental waiting time window of 6 ps, and the strongest mode had a dephasing time constant of 2.4 ps. We hypothesize the dephasing of the wavepacket in the excited state is predominantly caused by intramolecular vibrational relaxation (IVR). Slow IVR indicates weak mode-mode coupling and therefore weak anharmonicity of the potential of this vibration. Thus, the initially prepared vibrational wavepacket in the excited state is not significantly perturbed by nonadiabatic coupling to other electronic states, and hence the diabatic and adiabatic representations of the system are essentially identical within the Born-Oppenheimer approximation. The wavepacket therefore evolves with time in an almost harmonic potential, slowly dephased by IVR and the pure vibrational decoherence. The consistency in the position of node (phase change in the wavepacket) in the excited-state absorption and stimulated emission signals without undergoing any frequency shift until the wavepacket is completely dephased conforms to the absence of any reactive internal conversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6792-6799
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number34
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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