Mechanism of ligand photodissociation in photoactivable [Ru(bpy)2L2]2+ complexes: a density functional theory study.

Research paper by Luca L Salassa, Claudio C Garino, Giovanni G Salassa, Roberto R Gobetto, Carlo C Nervi

Indexed on: 01 Jul '08Published on: 01 Jul '08Published in: Journal of the American Chemical Society


A series of four photodissociable Ru polypyridyl complexes of general formula [Ru(bpy)2L2](2+), where bpy = 2,2'-bipyridine and L = 4-aminopyridine (1), pyridine (2), butylamine (3), and gamma-aminobutyric acid (4), was studied by density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT). DFT calculations (B3LYP/LanL2DZ) were able to predict and elucidate singlet and triplet excited-state properties of 1-4 and describe the photodissociation mechanism of one monodentate ligand. All derivatives display a Ru --> bpy metal-to-ligand charge transfer (MLCT) absorption band in the visible spectrum and a corresponding emitting triplet (3)MLCT state (Ru --> bpy). 1-4 have three singlet metal-centered (MC) states 0.4 eV above the major (1)MLCT states. The energy gap between the MC states and lower-energy MLCT states is significantly diminished by intersystem crossing and consequent triplet formation. Relaxed potential energy surface scans along the Ru-L stretching coordinate were performed on singlet and triplet excited states for all derivatives employing DFT and TDDFT. Excited-state evolution along the reaction coordinate allowed identification and characterization of the triplet state responsible for the photodissociation process in 1-4; moreover, calculation showed that no singlet state is able to cause dissociation of monodentate ligands. Two antibonding MC orbitals contribute to the (3)MC state responsible for the release of one of the two monodentate ligands in each complex. Comparison of theoretical triplet excited-state energy diagrams from TDDFT and unrestricted Kohn-Sham data reveals the experimental photodissociation yields as well as other structural and spectroscopic features.

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