- Aster, A.; Bornhof, A.-B.; Sakai, N.; Matile, S.; Vauthey, E. “Lifetime Broadening and Impulsive Generation of Vibrational Coherence Triggered by Ultrafast Electron Transfer” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2021, 12, 1052-1057
The absorption band shape of chromophores in liquid solution at room temperature is usually dominated by pure electronic dephasing dynamics, which occurs on the sub-100 fs time scale. Herein, we report on a series of dyads consisting of a naphthalenediimide (NDI) electron acceptor with one or two phenyl-based donors for which photoinduced intramolecular electron transfer is fast enough to be competitive with pure electronic dephasing. As a consequence, the absorption band of the π–π* transition of these dyads is broader than that of the NDI alone to an extent that scales with the electron transfer rate. Additionally, this reaction is so fast that it leads to the impulsive excitation of a low-frequency vibrational mode of the charge-separated product. Quantum-chemical calculations suggest that this vibration involves the C–N donor–acceptor bond, which shortens considerably upon electron transfer.