Measuring the change in the intermolecular raman spectrum during dipolar solvation

David F. Underwood, David A. Blank

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We demonstrate a method to directly measure the change in the spectrum of intermolecular solvent fluctuations as a function of time after electronic excitation of a solute, and this method is applied to the dye Coumarin 102 (C102) in acetonitrile. The complete intermolecular response is captured following resonant excitation with time domain third-order Raman spectroscopy. In a previous report, we introduced this method and used it to probe one point in the intermolecular response as a function of time after solute excitation (Underwood, D. F., Blank, D. A. J. Phys. Chem. A 2003, 107 (7), 956). Here we extend this approach to recover the change in the entire intermolecular response as a function of time. To our knowledge the results provide the first direct measurement of the difference in the equilibrated intermolecular response after excitation of a solute and its evolution during a dipolar solvation event. Excitation of C102 results in a significant increase in the solvent-solute interaction due to a large increase in the dipole moment. The observed change in the intermolecular response is consistent with a rapid change in local solvent density, with intermolecular kinetic energy transfer changing the response on longer time scales. Evolution of the response exhibits a strong frequency dependence and suggests changes over longer distances at longer delay times. The measured change in the spectrum of solvent fluctuations represents a direct experimental confirmation of the breakdown of linear response and confirms predictions from molecular dynamics simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3295-3306
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 21 2005

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