Unveiling ultrafast dynamics in bridged bimetallic complexes using optical and X-ray transient absorption spectroscopies

Michael W. Mara, Brian T. Phelan, Zhu Lin Xie, Tae Wu Kim, Darren J. Hsu, Xiaolin Liu, Andrew J.S. Valentine, Pyosang Kim, Xiaosong Li, Shin Ichi Adachi, Tetsuo Katayama, Karen L. Mulfort*, Lin X. Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In photosynthetic systems employing multiple transition metal centers, the properties of charge-transfer states are tuned by the coupling between metal centers. Here, we use ultrafast optical and X-ray spectroscopies to elucidate the effects of metal-metal interactions in a bimetallic tetrapyridophenazine-bridged Os(ii)/Cu(i) complex. Despite having an appropriate driving force for Os-to-Cu hole transfer in the Os(ii) moiety excited state, no such charge transfer was observed. However, excited-state coupling between the metal centers is present, evidenced by variations in the Os MLCT lifetime depending on the identity of the opposite metal center. This coupling results in concerted coherent vibrations appearing in the relaxation kinetics of the MLCT states for both Cu and Os centers. These vibrations are dominated by metal-ligand contraction at the Cu/Os centers, which are in-phase and linked through the conjugated bridging ligand. This study shows how vibronic coupling between transition metal centers affects the ultrafast dynamics in bridged, multi-metallic systems from the earliest times after photoexcitation to excited-state decay, presenting avenues for tuning charge-transfer states through judicious choice of metal/ligand groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1715-1724
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 14 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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