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Experimental Evidence of the Relevance of Orientational Correlations in Photoinduced Bimolecular Reactions in Solution

Published inThe journal of physical chemistry. A, vol. 117, no. 36, p. 8814-8825
Publication date2013
Abstract

A major problem in the extraction of the reaction probability in bimolecular processes is the disentanglement from the influence of molecular diffusion. One of the strategies to overcome it makes use of reactive solvents in which the reactants do not need to diffuse to encounter each other. However, most of our quantitative understanding of chemical reactions in solution between free partners is based on the assumption that they can be approximated by spheres because rotation averages their mutual orientations. This condition may not be fulfilled when the reaction takes place on time scales faster than that of molecular reorientation. In this work, the fluorescence quenching of two very similar polyaromatic hydrocarbons with different electric dipole moments is measured. The concentration of a liquid electron-donating quencher is varied from very dilute solutions to pure quencher solutions. In both cases, the thermodynamics of the reactions are very similar and, according to the Marcus expression, the kinetics are expected to proceed at similar rates. However, one of them is 10 times faster in the pure quencher solution. This difference starts at relatively low quencher concentrations. An explanation based on the fluorophore–solvent dipole–dipole interaction and the consequent orientational solvent structure is provided. The orientational correlation between fluorophore and quencher is calculated by means of computer simulations. Important differences depending on the fluorophore dipole moment are found. The kinetics can be explained quantitatively with a reaction–diffusion model that incorporates the effects of the presence of the dipole moment and the rotational diffusion, only in the highest quencher concentration case, but not in dilute solutions, most likely due to fundamental limitations of the kinetic theory.

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Citation (ISO format)
ANGULO, Gonzalo et al. Experimental Evidence of the Relevance of Orientational Correlations in Photoinduced Bimolecular Reactions in Solution. In: The journal of physical chemistry. A, 2013, vol. 117, n° 36, p. 8814–8825. doi: 10.1021/jp407203r
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ISSN of the journal1089-5639
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