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Photoinduced proton transfer and isomerization in a hydrogen-bonded aromatic azo compound: a CASPT2//CASSCF study

Photoinduced proton transfer and isomerization in a hydrogen-bonded aromatic azo compound: a CASPT2//CASSCF study

Journal of Physical Chemistry. a 118(26): 4732-4739

Intramolecularly hydrogen-bonded aromatic azo compound 1-cyclopropyldiazo-2-naphthol (CPDNO) exhibits complicated excited-state behaviors, e.g., wavelength-dependent photoinduced proton transfer and photoproducts. Its photochemistry differs from that of common aromatic azo compounds in which cis-trans photoisomerization is dominant. To rationalize the intriguing photochemistry of CPDNO at the atomic level, we have in this work employed the complete active space self-consistent field (CASSCF) and its second-order perturbation (CASPT2) methods to explore the S0, S1, and S2 potential-energy profiles relevant to enol-keto proton transfer and isomerization reactions. It is found that the proton transfer along the bright diabatic (1)ππ* potential-energy profile is almost barrierless, quickly forming the fluorescent (1)ππ* keto minimum. In this process, the dark (1)nπ* state is populated via a (1)ππ*/(1)nπ* crossing point, but the proton transfer on this dark state is suppressed heavily as a result of a large barrier. In addition, two deactivation paths that decay the S1 enol and keto minima to the S0 state, respectively, were uncovered. For the former, it is exoenergetic and thereby thermodynamically favorable; for the latter, it is a little endothermic (ca. 5 kcal/mol). Both are energetically allowable concerning the available total energy. Finally, on the basis of the present results, the experimentally observed wavelength-dependent photoproducts were explained very well.

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Accession: 054985057

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PMID: 24940848

DOI: 10.1021/jp503865y

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