Project Number: MQP-REC-0045 Synthesis, Spectroscopic Properties, and Photophysical Properties of (2E,5E)-2-benzylidene-5-(p-dimethylaminocinnamylidene)-cyclopentanone (bdmac)
- Cara L. DiIorio
Spectroscopic properties for a series of 2,5-diarylidenecyclopentanones in weak and strong acid environments are reported. Electronic absorption and fluorescence spectra have been measured for the all-E configurations of 2,5-dibenzylidenecyclopentanone (1), 2,5-bis(3-phenylallylidene)cyclopentanone (2), and 2,5-bis(5-phenylpenta-2,4-dienylidene)cyclopentanone (3) in acetic acid and sulfuric acid solutions. The spectroscopic evidence indicates that in 96% sulfuric acid 1, 2, and 3 are protonated both in the ground state and on the S1 potential energy surface. This assignment is supported by Zerner's intermediate neglect of differential overlap (ZINDO) and time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) calculations. In glacial acetic acid, 1, 2, and 3 are unprotonated in the ground state. The absence of observable fluorescence from 1 in glacial acetic acid indicates that S1 is npi, whereas the observation of fluorescence from 2 and 3 in acetic acid is consistent with S1 being pipi. A combination of spectroscopic data, molecular orbital calculations, and fluorescence lifetime measurements indicate that 2 and 3 undergo intermolecular excited-state proton transfer in glacial acetic acid and diluted sulfuric acid solutions. Photochemical studies reveal that, unlike its behavior in organic solvents, 1 does not undergo efficient E,E --> E,Z photoisomerization in 96% sulfuric acid.