Journal of Physical Chemistry A, Vol.109, No.9, 1795-1801, 2005
Solvent adiabaticity effects on ultrafast electron transfer in viologen charge transfer complexes
Charge recombination (CR) kinetics following photoinduced charge transfer are measured by optical transient absorption for complexes of dimethyl viologen and diheptyl viologen with 4,4'-biphenol (MVBP and HVBP) in methanol. Exponential time constants for MVBP and HVBP are 480 and 790 fs, respectively. Kinetic differences cannot be rationalized with a standard equilibrium nonadiabatic rate formula using parameters obtained from linear absorption and resonance Raman measurements, which give nearly indistinguishable results for the two complexes. Solvent relaxation times and adiabaticities of MVBP are calculated using a full solvation correlation function approach. This analysis suggests that the smaller CR rate of HVBP is due to solvent reorganization differences, and is consistent with a greater adiabatic contribution for HVBP than MVBP. We conjecture that interactions between the diheptyl aliphatic groups of HVBP and the local solvent structure are responsible for the CR differences.