Excited state dipole moments and lifetimes of 2-cyanoindole from rotationally resolved electronic Stark spectroscopy†
The permanent dipole moments of 2-cyanoindole (cyanoindole = CNI) in its ground and lowest excited singlet states have been determined from rotationally resolved electronic Stark spectroscopy under jet-cooled conditions. From the orientation of the transition dipole moment and the geometry changes upon electronic excitation the lowest excited singlet state could be shown to be of Lb-symmetry. The general statement, that the La-state has the larger permanent dipole moment of the two lowest excited singlet states, will be challenged in this contribution. On the basis of the different electronic nature of the first excited singlet state the behavior of 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-CNI is discussed. The excited state lifetime of isolated 2-CNI in the gas phase has been determined to be 9.4 ns. This value is compared to the excited state lifetime in ethyl acetate solution of 2.6 ns, which was quantified with a Strickler–Berg analysis. Using water as solvent shortens the 2-CNI lifetime to <40 ps. The reason for this drastic shortening is discussed in detail. Additionally, the rotationally resolved electronic spectrum of 2-CNI(1-d1) has been measured and analyzed.