Ground and Excited State Surfaces for the Photochemical Bond Cleavage in Phenylmethylphenylphosphonium Ions

J. Phys. Chem. A, 2013, published on 18.09.2013
J. Phys. Chem. A
Photolytic bond cleavage is a well-established method to generate carbocations for organic synthesis. Changes in the leaving group have a large influence on the chemical yield. The underlying potential energy surfaces governing the initial process are mostly unknown. We provide potential energy surfaces of ground and excited states on the CASSCF/CASPT2 level of theory for the charged precursor phenylmethylphenylphosphonium ion. We present the electronic and structural changes accompanying the excitation process and the subsequent bond cleavage. Inter-ring charge-transfer processes play a crucial role in the Franck–Condon region. Beyond the Franck–Condon region, competing reaction pathways emerge connected through conical intersections. The phenylmethylphenylphosphonium ion is used as a model system for the commonly used diphenylmethyltriphenylphosphonium ion. The appropriateness of the model is tested by CC2 calculations of the excitation spectrum.
TU München