Driving force dependence of charge recombination in reactive and nonreactive solvents

J Phys Chem A. 2012 Sep 27;116(38):9473-83. doi: 10.1021/jp306629v. Epub 2012 Sep 17.


This study addresses the free energy dependence of charge recombination following photoinduced bimolecular electron transfer in three different solvents of either inert (acetonitrile and benzyl acetate) or reactive (N,N-dimethylaniline) character. Femtosecond time-resolved fluorescence and transient absorption have been used to determine the time scales for charge recombination. In pure N,N-dimethylaniline, charge recombination is found to be substantially slower than charge separation in a range of driving forces covering 1.5 eV. In all three solvents, the so-called Marcus inverted region is clearly observed for charge recombination. Additionally, the charge recombination step is found to be influenced by the solvent relaxation dynamics. A diffusion-reaction equation approach using an electron transfer model accounting for solvent relaxation is used to rationalize the experimental results.