Examining Low Frequency Molecular Modulations from the High Frequency Vantage Point: Anharmonically-Coupled Low Frequency Modes in PCET Model Systems
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Proton-coupled electron transfer model systems (PCET) are examined using polarization selective femtosecond infrared pump-probe spectroscopy to determine how the structural modes are coupled to the OH/OD stretching vibrational mode by monitoring low frequency oscillations in the OH/OD vibrational mode using pump-probe techniques. For all of the systems discussed in this dissertation, low frequency modes are anharmonically coupled to the OH/OD stretching vibration. The OH/OD stretching vibration discussed in this dissertation have complex and broad lineshapes in the infrared region (IR) that are difficult to decipher. A broadband IR (BBIR) source, when used as part of a third order nonlinear infrared pump-probe spectroscopy, gains access into the electronic ground state potential energy surface. This information reveals the molecular dynamics that give rise to the complex structure in an IR spectra. The BBIR used for these experiments is generated by focusing 800 nm/400 nm pulses into compressed air and is tunable from 2 – 5 microns with a FWHM greater than 1200 wavenumbers. The BBIR is a crucial mid-IR source in subsequent chapters for examining the broad lineshapes of the OH/OD stretching mode, which often exceeds 200 wavenumbers. The coupling of low frequency structural modulations to hydrogen bonding dynamics in PCET systems is explored by using the OH/OD stretching vibration in CCl4 or CHCl3. Third order nonlinear ultrafast infrared pump-probe spectroscopy is used to gather information on the high frequency OH/OD stretching vibrational modes in the ground state such as vibrational relaxation time and anharmonic vibrational coupling to low frequency structural modulations. At least one anharmonically coupled low frequency mode between 120 and 250 wavenumbers has been observed in all systems. To better understand and visualize how the low frequency mode may contribute to the PCET chemistry, we calculated the fundamental frequencies and third order coupling constants using Gaussian09. These calculations show a low frequency modulation along the reaction coordinate at a similar frequency. This information will allow us to unravel how hydrogen bonding dynamics are involved in the PCET process.
- Chemistry