Unraveling the effects of co-crystallization on the UV/Vis absorption spectra of an N-salicylideneaniline derivative: A computational RI-CC2 investigation

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Abstract

This work aims at unraveling the effects of co-crystallization on the optical properties of an N-salicylideneaniline-derived molecular switch transforming between an enol and a keto form. This is achieved by way of a two-step multi-scale method where (i) the molecular geometry and unit cell parameters are optimized using a periodic boundary conditions density functional theory method and (ii) the optical properties are computed for a selection of clusters embedded in an array of point-charges that reproduce the crystal field electronic potential. The optical properties (vertical excitation energies and oscillator strengths) are obtained at the RI-CC2/def2-TZVPD level of approximation. This method allows us to decompose the effects of co-crystallization into (i) indirect effects, the geometry changes of the chromophore due to crystal packing with the coformer, and (ii) direct ones, the polarization due to the interacting coformer and to the crystal field. For the former effects, variations of a crucial torsion angle lead to modification of the π-conjugation and therefore to the decrease or increase of the excitation energies. About the latter, they are antagonistic: (i) the coformer is not directly involved in the excitations but its polarization decreases the excitation energies while (ii) the crystal field has the opposite effect. For the co-crystals with succinic and fumaric acids, combining these direct and indirect effects leads to a hypsochromic shift of the first absorption band with respect to the reference crystal, in agreement with experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4512
JournalMolecules
Volume25
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Anil molecular switch
  • Co-crystal
  • Coupled cluster
  • Embedding schemes
  • UV-vis absorption

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