Structure and dynamics of the solvated electron in alcohols from resonance Raman spectroscopy.

Research paper by Christina M CM Stuart, Michael J MJ Tauber, Richard A RA Mathies

Indexed on: 07 Aug '07Published on: 07 Aug '07Published in: Journal of Physical Chemistry A


Resonance Raman (RR) spectroscopy is used to probe the structure and excited-state dynamics of the solvated electron in the primary liquid alcohols methanol (MeOH), ethanol (EtOH), n-propanol (n-PrOH), and n-butanol (n-BuOH). The strong resonance enhancements (>or=10(4) relative to pure solvent) of the libration, CO stretch, COH bend, CH3 bend, CH2 bend, and OH stretch reveal significant Franck-Condon coupling of the intermolecular and intramolecular vibrational modes of the solvent to the electronic excitation of the solvated electron. All enhanced bands are fully accounted for by a model of the solvated electron that is comprised of several nearby solvent molecules that are only perturbed by the presence of the electron; no new molecular species are required to explain our data. The 340 cm(-1) downshift observed for the OH stretch frequency of e-(MeOH), relative to pure solvent, strongly suggests that the methanol molecules in the first solvent shell have the hydroxyl group directed linearly toward the excess electron density. The smaller downshifts observed for e-(EtOH), e-(n-PrOH), and e-(n-BuOH) are explained in terms of a OH group that is bent 28-40 degrees from linear. The Raman cross sections and absorption spectra are modeled, lending quantitative support for the inhomogeneous origin of the broad absorption spectra, the necessity of OH local motion in all enhanced Raman modes of the alcohols, and the dominant librational response of the solvent upon photoexcitation of the electron.