Excitation wavelength dependence of the fluorescence lifetime of anisole†
Photo-physical models that describe the pressure- and temperature-dependent fluorescence quantum yield of organic fluorescence tracers rely on an accurate prediction of the initial excited-state population, collision-dependent relaxation processes, and state-dependent relaxation processes. In case the initial excited-state population distribution reached after the laser excitation equals on average the thermal distribution, the fluorescence quantum yield becomes pressure independent. This initial distribution critically depends on the temperature-dependent ground-state population before excitation as well as the excitation wavelength. The ability to predict this behavior is a critical check for the validity of the existing photophysical models. The dependence of the effective fluorescence lifetime of anisole on the excitation wavelength (256–270 nm) was investigated at temperatures between 325 and 525 K for pressures between 1 and 4 bar. For each temperature, a unique excitation wavelength was found where the fluorescence lifetime is pressure-independent. The comparison of the experimental results with the predictions based on the established photophysical step-ladder models revealed a systematic underestimation of the required excitation photon energies for direct excitation into the thermalized level. An improved modeling approach based on quantum chemistry calculations for implementing simulated excitation spectra and state-dependent transition probabilities overcomes these limitations. Our results show for the example of anisole that the fluorescence step-ladder models that exist for aromatic fluorescence tracers must be modified to correctly predict the effect of the excitation wavelength.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2019 PCCP HOT Articles