4′-N,N-Diethylamino-3-hydroxyflavone (DEAHF), due to excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) reaction, exhibits two solvent-dependent emission bands. Because of the slow formation and fast decay of the ground-state tautomer, its population does not accumulate enough for its detection during the normal photocycle. As a result, the details of the ground-state intramolecular proton-transfer (GSIPT) reaction have remained unknown. The present work uses femtosecond pump-dump-probe spectroscopy to prepare the short-lived ground-state tautomer and track this GSIPT process in solution. By simultaneously measuring femtosecond pump-probe and pump-dump-probe spectra, ultrafast kinetics of the ESIPT and GSIPT reactions are obtained. The GSIPT reaction is shown to be a solvent-dependent irreversible two-state process in two solvents, with estimated time constants of 1.7 ps in toluene and 10 ps in the more polar tetrahydrofuran. These results are of great value in both fully describing the photocycle of this four-level proton transfer molecule and for providing a deeper understanding of dynamical solvent effects on tautomerization.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry