Ultrafast spectroscopy reveals the effects of confinement on the excited-state photoisomerization dynamics for a series of alkyl-substituted trans-stilbenes encapsulated in the hydrophobic cavity of an aqueous supramolecular organic host-guest complex. Compared with the solvated compounds, encapsulated trans-stilbenes have broader excited-state absorption spectra, excited-state lifetimes that are 3-4 times longer, and photoisomerization quantum yields that are 1.7-6.5 times lower in the restricted environment. The organic capsule disrupts the equilibrium structure and restricts torsional rotation around the central C=C double bond in the excited state, which is an important motion for the relaxation of trans-stilbene from S1 to S0. The location and identity of alkyl substituents play a significant role in determining the excited-state dynamics and photoisomerization quantum yields by tuning the relative crowding inside the capsule. The results are discussed in terms of distortions of the ground- and excited-state potential energy surfaces, including the topology of the S1-S0 conical intersection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry