highlight 9 2017

We performed a systematic study of the influence of the solvent on the excited-state symmetry breaking (SB) of a quadrupolar molecular probe using fs transient infrared spectroscopy in 55 different solvents.  This enabled us to determine the contribution of the various solute-solvent interactions to the SB. Often neglected, quadrupolar solvation was found to be strong enough to induce SB. We could establish occurrence of excited-state halogen bonding (X-bonding) in liquid solution for the first time. This interaction does not occur when the probe is in the ground state, but takes place on one side of the probe after its excitation and initial SB via dipolar solvation. The reaction between only a single branch of the quadrupolar probe and an X-bonding solvent is a demonstration of asymmetrical photochemistry in action. For more information, please refer to J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2017, 8, 3927-3932.

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Eric Vauthey

Physical Chemistry Department - Sciences II - University of Geneva
30, Quai Ernest Ansermet - CH-1211 Geneva 4 (Switzerland)

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