JOURNAL ARTICLE

Vibrational coherence in polar solutions of Zn(II) tetrakis(N-methylpyridyl)porphyrin with Soret-band excitation: rapidly damped intermolecular modes with clustered solvent molecules and slowly damped intramolecular modes from the porphyrin macrocycle

Kevin L Dillman, Katherine R Shelly, Warren F Beck
Journal of Physical Chemistry. B 2009 April 30, 113 (17): 6127-39
19348449
Ground-state coherent wavepacket motions arising from intermolecular modes with clustered, first-shell solvent molecules were observed using the femtosecond dynamic absorption technique in polar solutions of Zn(II) meso-tetrakis(N-methylpyridyl)porphyrin (ZnTMPyP) with excitation in the Soret absorption band. As was observed previously in bacteriochlorophyll a solution, the pump-probe transients in ZnTMPyP solutions are weakly modulated by slowly damped (effective damping time gamma > 1 ps) features that are assigned to intramolecular modes, the skeletal normal modes of vibration of the porphyrin. The 40 cm(-1) and 215 cm(-1) modes from the metal-doming and metal-solvent-ligand modes, respectively, are members of this set of modulation components. A slowly damped 2-4 cm(-1) component is assigned to the internal rotation of the N-methylpyridyl rings with respect to the porphyrin macrocycle; this mode obtains strong resonance Raman intensity enhancement from an extensive delocalization of pi-electron density from the porphyrin in the ground state onto the rings in the pi* excited states. The dominant features observed in the pump-probe transients are a pair of rapidly damped (gamma < 250 fs) modulation components arising from intermolecular modes with solvent molecules. This structural assignment is supported by an isotope-dependent shift of the average mode frequencies in methanol and perdeuterated methanol. The solvent dependence of the mean intermolecular mode frequency is consistent with a van der Waals intermolecular potential that has significant contributions only from the London dispersion and induction interactions; ion-dipole or ion-induced-dipole terms do not make large contributions because the pi-electron density is not extensively delocalized onto the N-methylpyridyl rings. The modulation depth associated with the intermolecular modes exhibits a marked dependence on the electronic structure of the solvent that is probably related to the degree of covalency; the strongest modulations are observed in acetonitrile and dimethylsulfoxide. The results strongly support a structural assignment of the low-frequency modes that are coupled to the primary and secondary electron-transfer reactions in photosynthetic reaction centers to intermolecular modes between the redox-active chromophores and first-solvation shell groups from the surrounding protein, and an important additional function of the intermolecular modes in the stabilization of charged intermediates is suggested.

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