One- and two-photon absorption spectra of organoboron complexes: vibronic and environmental effects

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We synthesized a series of four parent aza-β-ketoiminate organoboron complexes and performed spectroscopic studies using both experimental and computational techniques. We studied how benzannulation influences the vibronic structure of the UV/Vis absorption bands with a focus on the bright lowest-energy π → π* electronic excitation. Theoretical simulations, accounting for inhomogeneous broadening effects using different embedding schemes, allowed gaining in-depth insights into the observed differences in band shapes induced by structural modifications. We observed huge variations in the distributions of vibronic transitions depending on the position of benzannulation. By and large, the harmonic approximation combined with the adiabatic hessian model delivers qualitatively correct band shapes for the one-photon absorption spectra, except in one case. We also assessed the importance of non-Condon effects (accounted for by the linear term in Herzberg-Teller expansion of the dipole moment) for S0 → S1 band shapes. It turned out that non-Condon contributions have no effect on the band shape in one-photon absorption spectra. In contrast, these effects significantly change the Franck-Condon band shapes of the two-photon absorption spectra. For one of the studied organoboron complexes we also performed a preliminary exploration of mechanical anharmonicity, resulting in an increase of the intensity of the 0-0 transition, which improves the agreement with the experimental data compared to the harmonic model ​
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