The hydrogen/deuterium isotope effects on the ultrafast dynamics of photoinduced proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) are investigated with a recently developed nonadiabatic dynamics approach. An ensemble of surface hopping trajectories is propagated according to a Langevin equation on electron-proton vibronic free energy surfaces that depend on a collective solvent coordinate. The calculations illustrate that ultrafast PCET reactions could exhibit a significant normal isotope effect, where PCET is faster for hydrogen than deuterium, but could also exhibit a negligible isotope effect or even a slight inverse isotope effect. The isotope effect is very small or absent when highly excited electron-proton vibronic states dictate the nonadiabatic dynamics and increases with greater participation of lower vibronic states. Thus, although the presence of a significant isotope effect strongly suggests that proton motion is coupled to electron transfer, the absence of an isotope effect does not exclude the possibility that proton transfer accompanies electron transfer in ultrafast photoinduced charge transfer processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry