Vibrational Cross-Angles in Condensed Molecules: A Structural Tool

HL Chen and YF Zhang and JB Li and HJ Liu and DE Jiang and JR Zheng, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A, 117, 8407-8415 (2013).

DOI: 10.1021/jp406304c

The fluctuations of three-dimensional molecular conformations of a molecule in different environments play critical roles in many important chemical and biological processes. X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods are routinely applied to monitor the molecular conformations in condensed phases. However, some special requirements of the methods have prevented them from exploring many molecular phenomena at the current stage. Here, we introduce another method to resolve molecular conformations based on an ultrafast MIR/T-Hz multiple-dimensional vibrational spectroscopic technique. The model molecule (4'-methyl-2'-nitroacetanilide, MNA) is prepared in two of its crystalline vibrational band and detecting the induced response on another vibrational band of the forms and liquid samples. Two polarized ultrafast infrared pulses are then used to determine the cross-angles of vibrational transition moment directions by exciting one molecule. The vibrational cross-angles are then converted into molecular conformations with the aid of calculations. The molecular conformations determined by the method are supported by X-ray diffraction and molecular dynamics simulation results. The experimental results suggest that thermodynamic interactions with solvent molecules are not altering the molecular conformations of MNA in the solutions to control their ultimate conformations in the crystals.

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