Scientific Results

Dynamical and Environmental Effects on the Optical Properties of an Heteroleptic Ru(II)-Polypyridine Complex: A Multilevel Approach Combining Accurate Ground and Excited State QM-Derived Force Fields, MD and TD-DFT

Year: 2019

Authors: Prampolini G., Ingrosso F., Segalina A., Caramori S., Foggi P., Pastore M.

Autors Affiliation: Istituto di Chimica Dei Composti OrganoMetallici (ICCOM-CNR), Area della Ricerca, via G. Moruzzi 1, Pisa, I-56124, Italy; Université de Lorraine, CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie Théoriques, Nancy, F-54000, France; Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Farmaceutiche, Università Degli Studi di Ferrara, Via Luigi Borsari 46, Ferrara, I-44100, Italy; European Laboratory for Non Linear Spectroscopy (LENS), Università di Firenze, Via Nello Carrara 1, Florence Sesto Fiorentino, I-50019, Italy; INO-CNR, Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche, Largo Fermi 6, Florence, I-50125, Italy; Dipartimento di Chimica Biologia e Biotecnologie, Università di Perugia, Via Elce di Sotto 8, Perugia, I-06123, Italy

Abstract: An integrated multilevel approach is here built by combining classical molecular dynamic (MD) simulations,time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) calculations, and solvation dynamics linear response (LR) analysis, and successively employed to investigate the optical properties and solvation structure of a prototypical heteroleptic Ru(II)-polypyridyl complex, widely employed in dye sensitized solar cells. The MD simulations are performed with an accurately parametrized intramolecular force field (FF), specifically derived from the quantum chemical (DFT) description of the molecule, both for its singlet and triplet ground states. Solvent effects, in ethanol (EtOH) and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), are taken into account at different levels of approximation, going from a totally implicit description (polarizable continuum) to an hybrid explicit/implicit scheme. Our results show that the developed FFs were able to accurately describe and preserve the octahedral coordination of the Ru(II) center along the MD trajectories, yielding an accurate picture of the solute dynamics. Noticeably, the dynamical effects and the inclusion of an explicit microsolvation shell were found to be crucial to get a good agreement with the experimental absorption spectrum in EtOH, in both shape and positions of the main bands. The significant experimental blue-shift of the two low-energy bands in DMSO, that is not reproduced by the simulated thermal-averaged spectra, is, instead, attributed to deprotonation phenomena of the carboxylic groups, induced by the strong nucleophilic character of the solvent. Finally, analysis of the solvent response shows that the structural changes in the first solvation shell, following the metal ligand to ligand charge transfer excitation, cause, in the protic medium the breakdown of the linear response approximation, which, on the contrary, holds for DMSO.

Journal/Review: JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL THEORY AND COMPUTATION

Volume: 15 (1)      Pages from: 529  to: 545

More Information: M.P. thanks ANR JCJC HELIOSH2 (ANR-17-CE05-0007-01) for financial support and is grateful for HPC resources from GENCI-CCRT/CINES (Grants 2018-A0010810139).
KeyWords: Polar solvation dynamics; Solar-cell sensitizer; Tertiary butyl group; Molecular-dynamics; Ab-initio; Charge-transfer; Artificial Photosynthesis; Computer-simulation; relation dynamics; Aqueous-solution
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jctc.8b01031

Citations: 6
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