Presentation Title

Determining the Photobasicity of N-Aromatic Heterocyclic Compounds through Computational Chemistry

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Andrew Petit

Start Date

23-11-2019 8:00 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 8:45 AM

Location

243

Session

poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

physical_mathematical_sciences

Abstract

Photobases are light-activated molecules that become more basic in their excited state than in their ground state, providing photobases with the ability to remove protons upon photoexcitation. With this ability, photobases have the potential to be used in photocatalysis in areas such as solar-to-fuel light harvesting and artificial photosynthesis. Despite this potential, photobases and their photochemical applications remain largely unexplored. Previous experimental studies of a specific family of photobases (5-R-quinolines) have shown that the photobasicity can be tuned with functional groups. Using computational chemistry, we are extending this work by investigating how photobasicity is affected by the specific location of the substituent as well as the presence of sulfur or oxygen atoms in conjugated rings. We have accomplished this by calculating the excited state pKa of each of the molecules as well as the excitation energy. Our results indicate that the presence of a sulfur atom in the conjugated ring is favorable for stronger photobasicity. Through this work, we have identified design principles for developing novel photobases with desirable photochemical properties, as well as determined which of our N-aromatic heterocyclic compounds are worth further experimental investigation. Our work will contribute to the future design of photocatalysts which function through light-activated deprotonation.

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Nov 23rd, 8:00 AM Nov 23rd, 8:45 AM

Determining the Photobasicity of N-Aromatic Heterocyclic Compounds through Computational Chemistry

243

Photobases are light-activated molecules that become more basic in their excited state than in their ground state, providing photobases with the ability to remove protons upon photoexcitation. With this ability, photobases have the potential to be used in photocatalysis in areas such as solar-to-fuel light harvesting and artificial photosynthesis. Despite this potential, photobases and their photochemical applications remain largely unexplored. Previous experimental studies of a specific family of photobases (5-R-quinolines) have shown that the photobasicity can be tuned with functional groups. Using computational chemistry, we are extending this work by investigating how photobasicity is affected by the specific location of the substituent as well as the presence of sulfur or oxygen atoms in conjugated rings. We have accomplished this by calculating the excited state pKa of each of the molecules as well as the excitation energy. Our results indicate that the presence of a sulfur atom in the conjugated ring is favorable for stronger photobasicity. Through this work, we have identified design principles for developing novel photobases with desirable photochemical properties, as well as determined which of our N-aromatic heterocyclic compounds are worth further experimental investigation. Our work will contribute to the future design of photocatalysts which function through light-activated deprotonation.