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Exploring the dynamics of the photoinduced ring-opening of heterocyclic molecules

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3440-3451
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number14
DateAccepted/In press - 29 Jun 2017
DatePublished (current) - 29 Jun 2017


Excited states formed by electron promotion to an antibonding σ* orbital
are now recognized as key to understanding the photofragmentation dynamics of a broad range of heteroatom containing small molecules: alcohols, thiols, amines, and many of their aromatic analogues. Such excited states may be populated by direct photoexcitation, or indirectly by nonadiabatic transfer of population from some other optically excited state (e.g., a ππ* state). This Perspective explores the extent to which the fast-growing literature pertaining to such (n/π)σ*-state mediated bond fissions can inform and enhance our mechanistic understanding of photoinduced ring-opening in heterocyclic molecules.

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