Picosecond and nanosecond time-resolved resonance Raman (TR3) spectroscopy was employed to investigate the deprotonation/ionization reaction of p-hydroxyacetophenone (HA) after ultraviolet photolysis in water solution. The TR3 spectra in conjunction with density functional theory (DFT) calculations were used to characterize the structure and dynamics of the excited-state HA deprotonation to form HA anions in near neutral water solvent. DFT calculations based on a solute-solvent intermolecular H-bonded complex model containing up to three water molecules were used to evaluate the H-bond interactions and their influence on the deprotonation reaction and the structures of the intermediates. The deprotonation reaction was found to occur on the triplet manifold with a planar H-bonded HA triplet complex as the precursor species. The HA triplet species is generated within several picoseconds and then decays with a ∼10 ns time constant to produce the HA triplet anion species after 267 nm photolysis of HA in water solution. The triplet anion species was observed to decay with a time constant of about 90 ns into the ground-state anion species that was found to have a lifetime of about 200 ns. The DFT calculations on the H-bonded complexes of the anion triplet and ground-states species suggest that these anion species are H-bonded complexes with planar quinonoidal structures containing two water molecules H-bonded, respectively, with oxygen lone pairs of the carbonyl and deprotonated hydroxyl moieties. A deactivation scheme of the photoexcited HA in regard to the deprotonation reaction in neutral water solutions was proposed. With the above dynamic and structural information available, we briefly discuss the possible implications of the model HA photochemistry in water solutions for the photodeprotection reactions of related p-HP phototrigger compounds in aqueous solutions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry