Solvent Dependence of Structure, Charge Distribution, and Absorption Spectrum in the Photochromic Merocyanine-Spiropyran Pair
2011 (English)In: Journal of Physical Chemistry B, ISSN 1520-6106, E-ISSN 1520-5207, Vol. 115, no 14, 4025-4032 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We have studied the structures and absorption spectra of merocyanine, the photoresponsive isomer of the spiropyran (SP) merocyanine (MC) pair, in chloroform and in water solvents using a combined hybrid QM/MM Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics (CP-QM/MM) and ZINDO approach. We report remarkable differences in the molecular structure and charge distribution of MC between the two solvents; the molecular structure of MC remains in neutral form in chloroform while it becomes charge-separated, zwitterionic, in water. The dipole moment of MC in water is about 50% larger than in chloroform, while the value for SP in water is in between, suggesting that the solvent is more influential than the conformation itself in deciding the dipole moment for the merocyanine spiropyran pair. The calculations could reproduce the experimentally reported blue shift in the absorption spectra of MC when going from the nonpolar to the polar solvent, though the actual value of the absorption maximum is overestimated in chloroform solvent. We find that the CP-QM/MM approach is appropriate for structure modeling of solvatochromic and thermochromic molecules as this approach is able to capture the solvent and thermal-induced structural changes within the solute important for an accurate assessment of the properties.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 115, no 14, 4025-4032 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33462DOI: 10.1021/jp2004612ISI: 000289215600031ScopusID: 2-s2.0-79953786209OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-33462DiVA: diva2:418514
FunderSwedish e‐Science Research Center