Fluorescence and ultraviolet absorption spectra and structure of coumaran and its ring-puckering potential energy function in the S1(π,π*) excited state Academic Article uri icon


  • The fluorescence excitation (jet cooled), single vibrational level fluorescence, and the ultraviolet absorption spectra of coumaran associated with its S1(pi,pi*) electronic excited state have been recorded and analyzed. The assignment of more than 70 transitions has allowed a detailed energy map of both the S0 and S1 states of the ring-puckering (nu45) vibration to be determined in the excited states of nine other vibrations, including the ring-flapping (nu43) and ring-twisting (nu44) vibrations. Despite some interaction with nu43 and nu44, a one-dimensional potential energy function for the ring puckering very nicely predicts the experimentally determined energy level spacings. In the S1(pi,pi*) state coumaran is quasiplanar with a barrier to planarity of 34 cm(-1) and with energy minima at puckering angles of +/-14 degrees. The corresponding ground state (S0) values are 154 cm(-1) and +/-25 degrees . As is the case with the related molecules indan, phthalan, and 1,3-benzodioxole, the angle strain in the five-membered ring increases upon the pi-->pi* transition within the benzene ring and this increases the rigidity of the attached ring. Theoretical calculations predict the expected increases of the carbon-carbon bond lengths of the benzene ring in S1, and they predict a barrier of 21 cm(-1) for this state. The bond length increases at the bridgehead carbon-carbon bond upon electron excitation to the S1(pi,pi*) state give rise to angle changes which result in greater angle strain and a nearly planar molecule.

author list (cited authors)

  • Yang, J., Wagner, M., Okuyama, K., Morris, K., Arp, Z., Choo, J., ... Laane, J.

publication date

  • January 1, 2006 11:11 AM