# Combination of transient 2D-IR experiments and ab initio computations sheds light on the formation of the charge-transfer state in photoexcited carbonyl carotenoids.

 Title Combination of transient 2D-IR experiments and ab initio computations sheds light on the formation of the charge-transfer state in photoexcited carbonyl carotenoids. Publication Type Book Year of Publication 2014 Authors Di Donato, M, Segado Centellas, M, Lapini, A, Lima, M, Avila, F, Santoro, F, Cappelli, C, Righini, R Series Title The journal of physical chemistry. B Volume 118 Series Volume 32 Number of Pages 9613–30 ISBN 1520-5207 Abstract The excited state dynamics of carbonyl carotenoids is very complex because of the coupling of single- and doubly excited states and the possible involvement of intramolecular charge-transfer (ICT) states. In this contribution we employ ultrafast infrared spectroscopy and theoretical computations to investigate the relaxation dynamics of trans-8'-apo-$\beta$-carotenal occurring on the picosecond time scale, after excitation in the S2 state. In a (slightly) polar solvent like chloroform, one-dimensional (T1D-IR) and two-dimensional (T2D-IR) transient infrared spectroscopy reveal spectral components with characteristic frequencies and lifetimes that are not observed in nonpolar solvents (cyclohexane). Combining experimental evidence with an analysis of CASPT2//CASSCF ground and excited state minima and energy profiles, complemented with TDDFT calculations in gas phase and in solvent, we propose a photochemical decay mechanism for this system where only the bright single-excited 1Bu(+) and the dark double-excited 2Ag(-) states are involved. Specifically, the initially populated 1Bu(+) relaxes toward 2Ag(-) in 200 fs. In a nonpolar solvent 2Ag(-) decays to the ground state (GS) in 25 ps. In polar solvents, distortions along twisting modes of the chain promote a repopulation of the 1Bu(+) state which then quickly relaxes to the GS (18 ps in chloroform). The 1Bu(+) state has a high electric dipole and is the main contributor to the charge-transfer state involved in the dynamics in polar solvents. The 2Ag(-) → 1Bu(+) population transfer is evidenced by a cross peak on the T2D-IR map revealing that the motions along the same stretching of the conjugated chain on the 2Ag(-) and 1Bu(+) states are coupled. URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25050938 DOI 10.1021/jp505473j