Pressure-induced solvatochromism of the charge-transfer transitions in pyridinium betaines

William S. Hammack, David N. Hendrickson, Harry G. Drickamer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pressure is used to induce the solvatochromism of the charge-transfer (CT) absorption bands of several pyridinium N-phenoxide betaine dyes in methanol, ethanol, 2-propanol, poly(methyl methacrylate), and poly(styrene). The major conclusion of this study is that the peak maxima of the CT bands correlate with the solvent polarity function (ε - 1)/(ε + 2). The spectral changes observed are very similar to the solvatochromic behavior found at ambient pressure with solvents of varying polarity. Pressure-induced solvatochromism, though, has several advantages over ambient pressure methods: (1) the dielectric properties of the solvent change in a smooth and continuous fashion and (2) any specific solute-solvent interactions that occur are, to first order, constant with pressure. The experiments reported in this paper are an implementation of a general principle of high-pressure research: by varying the bulk properties of a material, either continuously or discontinuously, the relationship between the bulk and local properties can be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3483-3487
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of physical chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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