Excited state properties of heteroleptic Cu(I) 4H-imidazolate complexes
in: Inorganic Chemistry (2017)
The excited state properties of three heteroleptic copper (I) xantphos 4H-imidazolate complexes are investigated by means of femtosecond and nanosecond time-resolved transient absorption spectroscopy in dichloromethane solution. The subpicosecond spectral changes observed after excitation into the MLCT absorption band are interpreted as intersystem crossing from the singlet to the triplet manifold. This interpretation is corroborated by DFT and TD-DFT results, indicating a comparable molecular geometry in the ground state (and hence the nonrelaxed singlet state) and the excited triplet state. Population of the triplet state is followed by planarization of the N-aryl rings of the 4H-imidazolateligand on a 10 ps time scale. The planarization strongly depends on the substitution pattern of the N-aryls and correlates with the reduced moment of inertia for the planarization motion. The triplet state subsequently decays to the ground state in about 100ns. These results demonstrate that the excited state processes of copper (I) complexes depend on the specific ligand(s) and their substitution pattern. Thus, the work presented points to a possibility to design copper (I) complexes with specific photophysical properties.