Excited states of nitro-polypyridine metal complexes and their ultrafast decay. Time-resolved IR Absorption, spectroelectrochemistry, and TD-DFT calculations of fac-[Re(Cl)(CO)3(5-nitro-1,10-phenanthroline)].
Gabrielsson A., Matousek P., Towrie M., Hartl F., Zalis S., Vlcek A.
The lowest absorption band of fac-[Re(Cl)(CO)3(5-NO2-phen)] encompasses two close-lying MLCT transitions. The lower one is directed to LUMO, which is heavily localized on the NO2 group. The UV-vis absorption spectrum is well accounted for by TD-DFT (G03/PBEPBE1/CPCM), provided that the solvent, MeCN, is included in the calculations. Near-UV excitation of fac-[Re(Cl)(CO)3(5-NO2-phen)] populates a triplet metal to ligand charge-transfer excited state, 3MLCT, that was characterized by picosecond time-resolved IR spectroscopy. Large positive shifts of the nu(CO) bands upon excitation (+70 cm(-1) for the A'1 band) signify a very large charge separation between the Re(Cl)(CO)3 unit and the 5-NO2-phen ligand. Details of the excited-state character are revealed by TD-DFT calculated changes of electron density distribution. Experimental excited-state nu(CO) wavenumbers agree well with those calculated by DFT. The 3MLCT state decays with a ca. 10 ps lifetime (in MeCN) into another transient species, that was identified by TRIR and TD-DFT calculations as an intraligand 3npi excited state, whereby the electron density is excited from the NO2 oxygen lone pairs to the pi system of 5-NO2-phen. This state is short-lived, decaying to the ground state with a approximately 30 ps lifetime. The presence of an npi state seems to be the main factor responsible for the lack of emission and the very short lifetimes of 3MLCT states seen in all d6-metal complexes of nitro-polypyridyl ligands. Localization of the excited electron density in the lowest 3MLCT states parallels localization of the extra electron in the reduced state that is characterized by a very small negative shift of the nu(CO) IR bands (-6 cm(-1) for A'1) but a large downward shift of the nu(s)(NO2) IR band. The Re-Cl bond is unusually stable toward reduction, whereas the Cl ligand is readily substituted upon oxidation.