Solvation-Driven Charge Transfer and Localization in Metal Complexes

Rondi, Ariana; Rodriguez Consuegra, Yuseff; Feurer, Thomas; Cannizzo, Andrea (2015). Solvation-Driven Charge Transfer and Localization in Metal Complexes. Accounts of chemical research, 48(5), pp. 1432-1440. American Chemical Society 10.1021/ar5003939

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In any physicochemical process in liquids, the dynamical response of the
solvent to the solutes out of equilibrium plays a crucial role in the rates and products: the solvent molecules react to the changes in volume and electron density of the solutes to minimize the free energy of the solution, thus modulating the activation barriers and stabilizing (or destabilizing) intermediate states. In charge transfer (CT) processes in polar solvents, the response of the solvent always assists the formation of charge separation states by stabilizing the energy of the localized charges. A deep understanding of the solvation mechanisms and time scales is therefore essential for a correct description of any photochemical process in dense phase and for designing molecular devices based on photosensitizers with CT excited states. In the last two decades, with the advent of ultrafast time-resolved spectroscopies, microscopic models describing the relevant case of polar solvation (where both the solvent and the solute molecules have a permanent electric dipole and the mutual interaction is mainly dipole−dipole) have dramatically progressed. Regardless of the details of each model, they all assume that the effect of the electrostatic fields of the solvent molecules on the internal electronic dynamics of the solute are perturbative and that the
solvent−solute coupling is mainly an electrostatic interaction between the constant permanent dipoles of the solute and the solvent molecules. This well-established picture has proven to quantitatively rationalize spectroscopic effects of environmental and electric dynamics (time-resolved Stokes shifts, inhomogeneous broadening, etc.). However, recent computational and
experimental studies, including ours, have shown that further improvement is required. Indeed, in the last years we investigated several molecular complexes exhibiting photoexcited CT states, and we found that the
current description of the formation and stabilization of CT states in an important group of molecules such as transition metal complexes is inaccurate. In particular, we proved that the solvent molecules are not just spectators of intramolecular electron density redistribution but significantly modulate it.
Our results solicit further development of quantum mechanics computational methods to treat the solute and (at least) the closest solvent molecules including the nonperturbative treatment of the effects of local electrostatics and direct solvent−solute interactions to describe the dynamical changes of the solute excited states during the solvent response.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics > Lasers

UniBE Contributor:

Rondi, Ariana, Rodriguez Consuegra, Yuseff, Feurer, Thomas, Cannizzo, Andrea


500 Science
500 Science > 530 Physics
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




American Chemical Society




Martin Frenz-Lips

Date Deposited:

04 Feb 2016 13:38

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:51

Publisher DOI:





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