Journal of Physical Chemistry A, Vol.124, No.21, 4193-4201, 2020
Investigating the Photochemistry of C7 and C8 Functionalized N(5)-Ethyl-flavinium Cation: A Computational Study
Flavins are a diverse set of compounds with a wide variety of biological and nonbiological applications. Applications of flavins receiving attention recently consist of electro- and photocatalytic oxidation of substrates for organic synthesis, bioengineered nanotechnology, and water splitting catalysts, among others. While there is vast knowledge regarding the structure-property relationships of flavins and their electrochemistry, there is much less work elucidating the structure property relationships as they pertain to flavinium photochemistry. Herein, we report the effect of molecular tailoring on the molecular properties of N(5)-ethyl-flavinium cation (Et-Fl(+)), a derivative of the biocatalytic coenzyme riboflavin, by incorporating electron withdrawing and donating groups at the C7 and C8 position of the isoalloxazine ring. The presence of electron withdrawing groups at the C8 position caused a red shift in the absorption spectrum, while the electron donating groups caused a blue shift. Functionalization at the C7 position had the opposite effect on the absorption spectrum. The effects of single substitution were relatively negated with simultaneous functionalization at both the C8 and C7 positions. Difference density plots indicate no change in the nature of the S-1 excited state, which was confirmed by optimization of the excited state geometries. The results presented in this study indicate that functionalization of the isoalloxazine unit affects the photophysical properties of N(5)-ethyl-flavinium cations.