1,2-Dihydroxyanthraquinone (alizarin) shows an ultrafast intramolecular proton transfer in the excited states between the adjacent hydroxyl and carbonyl groups. Due to the ground and electronic structure of locally excited and proton-transferred tautomers, alizarin shows dual emission bands with strong Stokes shifts. The energy barriers between the locally excited (LE) and proton-transferred (PT) tautomers in the excited state are strongly dependent on the solvent polarity and thus alizarin shows complicated photophysical properties including solvent and excitation dependences. The excited-state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) of alizarin was monitored in time-resolved stimulated Raman spectroscopic investigation, where the instantaneous structural changes of anthraquinone backbone in 70~80 fs were captured. Two major vibrational modes of alizarin, ν(C=C) and ν(C=O) represent the proton transfer reaction in the excited state, which then leads to the vibrational relaxation of the product and the restructuring of solvent molecules. Ultrafast changes in solvent vibrational modes of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) were also investigated for the solvation dynamics including hydrogen bond breaking and reformation.
Part of the book: Photochemistry and Photophysics