Role of solvent dynamics in ultrafast photoinduced proton-coupled electron transfer reactions in solution

Anirban Hazra, Alexander V. Soudackov, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A theoretical formulation for modeling photoinduced nonequilibrium proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) reactions in solution is presented. In this formulation, the PCET system is described by donor and acceptor electron-proton vibronic free energy surfaces that depend on a single collective solvent coordinate. Dielectric continuum theory is used to obtain a generalized Langevin equation of motion for this collective solvent coordinate. The terms in this equation depend on the solvent properties, such as the dielectric constants, relaxation time, and molecular moment of inertia, as well as the solute properties characterizing the vibronic surfaces. The ultrafast dynamics following photoexcitation is simulated using a surface hopping method in conjunction with the Langevin equation of motion. This methodology is used to examine a series of model photoinduced PCET systems, where the initial nonequilibrium state is prepared by vertical photoexcitation from the ground electronic state to the donor electronic state. Analysis of the dynamical trajectories provides insight into the interplay between the solvent dynamics and the electron-proton transfer for these types of processes. In addition, these model studies illustrate how the coupling between the electron-proton transfer and the solvent dynamics can be tuned by altering the solute and solvent properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12319-12332
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 30 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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