Vibrational solvatochromism and electrochromism of infrared probe molecules containing C≡O, C≡N, C=O, or C-F vibrational chromophore

Jun Ho Choi, Minhaeng Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)


Solvatochromic vibrational frequency shifts of a few different infrared (IR) probe molecules have been studied by carrying out quantum chemistry calculations for a number of their water clusters. We are particularly focused on the vibrational solvatochromic and electrochromic effects on the CO, CN, and CF stretch modes in carbon monoxide, acetone, 4-cyanopyridine, p-tolunitrile, fluorobenzene, and 3-fluoropyridine. Using multiple interaction site antenna model, we show that their solvatochromic vibrational frequency shifts can be successfully described by considering spatially nonuniform electrostatic potential generated by the surrounding water molecules. It turns out that the CO and CF stretch mode frequencies are approximately proportional to the solvent electric field projected onto the bond axes, whereas the vibrational frequencies of the nitrile stretch mode in 4-cyanopyridine and p-tolunitrile are not. Consequently, it is confirmed that the vibrational Stark tuning rates of the CO and CF stretching modes can be directly used to describe their solvatochromic frequency shifts in condensed phases. However, the nitrile stretch mode frequency shift induced by solvent electrostatic potential appears to be more complicated than its electrochromic phenomenon. To examine the validity of the distributed interaction site model for solvatochromic frequency shifts of these vibrational chromophores, we thus calculated the vibrational Stark tuning rates of the CO, CN, and CF stretch modes and found that they are in good agreement with the experimental results found in literatures. This confirms that a collection of properly chosen distributed interaction sites can be an excellent electric antenna sensing local electrostatics that affects on vibrational frequencies of IR probe modes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154513
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr 21


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Cite this