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Transient metal-centered states mediate isomerization of a photochromic ruthenium-sulfoxide complex

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Huse,  N.
Institute for Nanostructure and Solid State Physics, Department of Physics, University of Hamburg;
Ultrafast Molecular Dynamics, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Center for Free-Electron Laser Science;

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Citation

Cordones, A. A., Lee, J. H., Hong, K., Cho, H., Garg, K., Boggio-Pasqua, M., et al. (2018). Transient metal-centered states mediate isomerization of a photochromic ruthenium-sulfoxide complex. Nature Communications, 9: 1989. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-04351-0.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-4E56-7
Abstract
Ultrafast isomerization reactions underpin many processes in (bio)chemical systems and molecular materials. Understanding the coupled evolution of atomic and molecular structure during isomerization is paramount for control and rational design in molecular science. Here we report transient X-ray absorption studies of the photo-induced linkage isomerization of a Ru-based photochromic molecule. X-ray spectra reveal the spin and valence charge of the Ru atom and provide experimental evidence that metal-centered excited states mediate isomerization. Complementary X-ray spectra of the functional ligand S atoms probe the nuclear structural rearrangements, highlighting the formation of two metal-centered states with different metal-ligand bonding. These results address an essential open question regarding the relative roles of transient charge-transfer and metal-centered states in mediating photoisomerization. Global temporal and spectral data analysis combined with time-dependent density functional theory reveals a complex mechanism for photoisomerization with atomic details of the transient molecular and electronic structure not accessible by other means.