Trajectory surface-hopping photoinduced dynamics from Rydberg states of trimethylamine

Mátyás Imre Pápai*, Xusong Li, Martin M. Nielsen, Klaus Braagaard Møller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

We present a computational study on nonadiabatic excited-state dynamics initiated from the 3p Rydberg states of trimethylamine (TMA). We utilise a methodology based on full-dimensional (39 D) trajectory surface-hopping (TSH) simulations, in which propagation is carried out on on-the-fly density functional theory (DFT)/time-dependent DFT (TD-DFT) potentials. Both our electronic structure benchmarks to high-level ab initio methods (EOM-CCSD, CASPT2) and TSH simulations demonstrate high-accuracy of the applied CAM-B3LYP functional for the description of Rydberg excited states. Based on our excited-state simulations, we construct the following mechanistic picture: when pumped resonantly to the 3p Rydberg manifold, TMA coherently vibrates along the planarisation mode with a period of 104 fs and an exponential coherence decay time constant of 240 fs. Nonadiabatic dynamics occur on a faster (∼1 ps) and a slower (∼3 ps) timescale, along the N-C stretching mode by mixing with a dissociative σN-C* state. As a minor relaxation channel, 3p → 3s internal conversion occurs via branching at the σN-C*/3s intersection. We find that photodissociaton is hardly observable within 3 ps (1%), which is a failure of the range-separated hybrid CAM-B3LYP functional, as a consequence of its static electron correlation deficiency at long range. In contrast, pure DFT (GGA-BLYP) provides an accurate long-range description (19% dissociation yield), also supported by comparison to recent ultrafast experiments, even if the Rydberg state energies are significantly underestimated (>1 eV). Finally, we reveal the crucial role of vibrational coherence and energy transfer from the planarisation mode for N-C bond activation and resulting nonadiabatic dynamics. The present work illustrates the importance of nuclear-electronic coupling for excited-state dynamics and branching at conical intersections.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Volume23
Issue number18
Pages (from-to)10964-10977
Number of pages14
ISSN1463-9076
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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