We have unraveled the effects of an amino substituent in the ortho position on the excited-state dynamics of 4-nitropyridine N-oxide by studying the picosecond fluorescence kinetics and femtosecond transient absorption of a newly synthesized compound, 2-butylamino-6-methyl-4-nitropyridine N-oxide, and by quantum chemical calculations. Similar to the parent compound, the S1 state of the target molecule has significant charge-transfer character and shows a large (∼8000 cm-1) static Stokes shift in acetonitrile. Analysis of the experimental and the theoretical results leads, however, to a new scenario in which this intramolecular charge transfer triggers in polar, aprotic solvents an ultrafast (around 100 fs) intramolecular proton transfer between the amino and the N-O group. The electronically excited N-OH tautomer is subsequently subject to solvent relaxation and decays with a lifetime of ∼ 150 ps to the ground state.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry