Theoretical investigation of two model systems for molecular photoswitch functionality. I. 2-(4-nitropyrimidin-2-yl)ethenol

Clemens Woywod, András Csehi, Gábor J. Halász, Kenneth Ruud, Ágnes Vibók

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The ground and five lowest-lying electronically excited singlet states of 2-(4-nitropyrimidin-2-yl)ethenol (NPE) have been studied theoretically using the complete active space self-consistent-field (CASSCF), Møller-Plesset second-order perturbation theory (MP2) and second-order multi-configurational perturbation theory (CASPT2) methods. The molecule can be regarded as being composed of a frame and a crane component and is characterised by the existence of two planar minima of similar energy on the ground-state potential energy (PE) surface. This work explores the possibility of an excited-state intramolecular hydrogen transfer (ESIHT) process in NPE. A hypothetical reaction coordinate has been constructed for NPE. State-averaged CASSCF and CASPT2 calculations of the six lowest-lying singlet states have been performed for the isomerisation. Adiabatic and simplified quasi-diabatic PE and transition dipole moment functions have been constructed. The computations indicate that there exist substantial barriers for the rotation process on the adiabatic PE surfaces of all the five excited states investigated. The six quasi-diabatic electronic states considered here decompose into two classes based on whether the electronic wave functions depend weakly or strongly on the nuclear displacement, subject to the effect of the torsion on relevant molecular orbitals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-835
Number of pages18
JournalMolecular Physics
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 19 2014



  • Electronic structure calculations
  • Excited state dynamics
  • Photoisomerisation
  • Photoswitch
  • Vibronic coupling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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