Molecular dynamics and simulations study on the vibrational and electronic solvatochromism of benzophenone
Kumar, Venkatraman Ravi
Date of Issue2016
School of Biological Sciences
Solvent plays a key role in diverse physico-chemical and biological processes. Therefore, understanding solute-solvent interactions at the molecular level of detail is of utmost importance. A comprehensive solvatochromic analysis of benzophenone (Bzp) was carried out in various solvents using Raman and electronic spectroscopy, in conjunction with Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations of supramolecular solute-solvent clusters generated using classical Molecular Dynamics Simulations (c-MDSs). The >C=O stretching frequency undergoes a bathochromic shift with solvent polarity. Interestingly, in protic solvents this peak appears as a doublet: c-MDS and ad hoc explicit solvent ab initio calculations suggest that the lower and higher frequency peaks are associated with the hydrogen bonded and dangling carbonyl group of Bzp, respectively. Additionally, the dangling carbonyl in methanol (MeOH) solvent is 4 cm−1 blue-shifted relative to acetonitrile solvent, despite their similar dipolarity/polarizability. This suggests that the cybotactic region of the dangling carbonyl group in MeOH is very different from its bulk solvent structure. Therefore, we propose that this blue-shift of the dangling carbonyl originates in the hydrophobic solvation shell around it resulting from extended hydrogen bonding network of the protic solvents. Furthermore, the 11nπ∗ (band I) and 11ππ∗ (band II) electronic transitions show a hypsochromic and bathochromic shift, respectively. In particular, these shifts in protic solvents are due to differences in their excited state-hydrogen bonding mechanisms. Additionally, a linear relationship is obtained for band I and the >C=O stretching frequency (cm−1), which suggests that the different excitation wavelengths in band I correspond to different solvation states. Therefore, we hypothesize that the variation in excitation wavelengths in band I could arise from different solvation states leading to varying solvation dynamics. This will have implications for ultrafast processes associated with electron-transfer, charge transfer, and also the photophysical aspects of excited states.
The Journal of Chemical Physics
© 2016 AIP Publishing LLC. This paper was published in The Journal of Chemical Physics and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of AIP Publishing LLC. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4941058]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.