We have investigated the decomposition pathway of dioxetanones 1c with a phenoxide anion group by the B3LYP/6-31+G(d) method together with the second-order multireference Moller-Plesset perturbation (MRMP) theory and propose charge-transfer-induced luminescence (CTIL) with polarization-induced branching excitation processes. In the gas phase, the thermal decomposition of 1c occurs by an asynchronous two-stage pathway without a discrete intermediate; that is, the initial O-O bond breaking to generate a charge-transfer (CT) diradical species is immediately followed by the subsequent C-C bond breaking with simultaneous back CT, which is responsible for the surface crossing at the avoided crossing. The activation energy is dramatically reduced from 19.4 to 3.8 kcal mol-1 by the deprotonation of phenol meta-1d to its anion meta-1c, showing an important role of the endothermic CT. The odd/even selection rule for the chemiluminescence efficiency can be explained by the orbital interaction for the back CT between the carbonyl π* orbital and either a HOMO or a LUMO of the generated light emitters. To examine the accessibility of the chemically initiated electron exchange luminescence (CIEEL) route, we considered the solvent effects on the free-energy change of meta-1c by using continuum solvent models. The bending vibration mode of the CO2 fragment is specifically considered. Borderline features emerges from the solution-phase CT reaction of meta-1c, which depends on the solvent polarity: one is a nonadiabatic or adiabatic back CT process (polarization-induced concerted CTIL), and the other is a radical dissociation, i.e., complete one-electron-transfer process (CIEEL).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry