Controlling S-1/S-0 Decay and the Balance between Photochemistry and Photostability in Benzene: A Direct Quantum Dynamics Study

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In this work, we investigate general mechanistic principles that control reaction selectivity following S-1/S-0 internal conversion in benzene. A systematic relationship is drawn between the varying topology of an extended seam of conical intersection and the balance between two competitive radiationless decay channels: photophysical (benzene reactant regeneration) and photochemical (prefulvene product formation). This is supported by a model quantum dynamics study, using a direct dynamics approach based on variational multiconfiguration Gaussian wavepackets, where initial excitation of specific vibrational modes is designed to generate dynamical pathways that reach selected targets regions of the seam. High-energy regions of the seam are found to be sloped and in favor of the photophysical channel, while lower-energy regions are peaked and give access to the photochemical channel. This changeover could in principle be exploited to define targets for optimal control, by exciting different combinations of specific vibronic levels in S-1, accessing different regions of the seam, and giving different products.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13017-13027
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008