Photochemical reactions are of great interest due to their importance in chemical and biological processes. Highly sensitive IR/UV double and triple resonance spectroscopy in molecular beam experiments in combination with ab initio and DFT calculations yields information on reaction coordinates and Intersystem Crossing (ISC) processes subsequent to photoexcitation. In general, molecular beam experiments enable the investigation of isolated, cold molecules without any influence of the environment. Furthermore, small aggregates can be analyzed in a supersonic jet by gradually adding solvent molecules like water. Conclusions concerning the interactions in solution can be derived by investigating and fully understanding small systems with a defined amount of solvent molecules. In this work the first applications of combined IR/UV spectroscopy on reactive isolated molecules and triplet states in molecular beams without using any messenger molecules are presented. Special focus was on excited state proton transfer reactions, which can also be described as keto enol tautomerisms. Various molecules such as 3-hydroxyflavone, 2-(2-naphthyl)-3-hydroxychromone and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid have been investigated with regard to this question. In the case of 3-hydroxyflavone and 2-(2-naphthyl)-3-hydroxychromone, the IR spectra have been recorded subsequent to an excited state proton transfer. Furthermore the dihydrate of 3-hydroxyflavone has been analyzed concerning a possible proton transfer in the excited state: The proton transfer reaction along the water molecules (proton wire) has to be induced by raising the excitation energy. However, photoinduced reactions involve not only singlet but also triplet states. As an archetype molecule xanthone has been analysed. After excitation to the S2 state, ISC occurs into the triplet manifold leading to a population of the T1 state. The IR spectrum of the T1 state has been recorded for the first time using the UV/IR/UV technique without using any messenger molecules. Altogether it is shown that IR/UV double and triple resonance techniques are suitable tools to analyze reaction coordinates of photochemical processes.
Clusters bridge the gap between single atoms or molecules and the condensed phase and it is the challenge of cluster science to obtain a deeper understanding of the molecular foundation of the observed cluster specific properties/reactivities and their dependence on size. The electronic structure of hydrated magnesium monocations [Mg,nH2O]+, n<20, exhibits a strong cluster size dependency. With increasing number of H2O ligands the SOMO evolves from a quasi-valence state (n=3-5), in which the singly occupied molecular orbital (SOMO) is not yet detached from the metal atom and has distinct sp-hybrid character, to a contact ion pair state. For larger clusters (n=17,19) these ion pair states are best described as solvent separated ion pair states, which are formed by a hydrated dication and a hydrated electron. With growing cluster size the SOMO moves away from the magnesium ion to the cluster surface, where it is localized through mutual attractive interactions between the electron density and dangling H-atoms of H2O ligands forming "molecular tweezers" HO-H (e-) H-OH. In case of the hydrated aluminum monocations [Al,nH2O]+,n=20, different isomers of the formal stoichiometry [Al,20H2O]+ were investigated by using gradient-corrected DFT (BLYP) and three different basic structures for [Al,20H2O]+ were identified: (a) [AlI(H2O)20]+ with a threefold coordinated AlI; (b) [HAlIII(OH)(H2O)19]+ with a fourfold coordinated AlIII; (c) [HAlIII(OH)(H2O)19]+ with a fivefold coordinated AlIII. In ground state [AlI(H2O)20]+ (a) which contains aluminum in oxidation state +1 the 3s2 valence electrons remain located at the aluminium monocation. Different than for open shell magnesium monocations no electron transfer into the hydration shell is observed for closed shell AlI. However, clusters of type (a) are high energy isomers (DE»+190 kJ mol-1) and the activation barrier for reaction into cluster type (b) or (c) is only approximately 14 kJ mol-1. The performed ab initio calculations reveal that unlike in [Mg,nH2O]+, n=7-17, for which H atom eliminiation is found to be the result of an intracluster redoxreaction, in [Al,nH2O]+,n=20, H2 is formed in an intracluster acid-base reaction. In [Mg,nH2O]+, n>17, the magnesium dication was found to coexist with a hydrated electron in larger cluster sizes. This proves that intermolecular electron delocalization - previously almost exclusively studied in (H2O)n- and (NH3)n- clusters - can also be an important issue for water clusters doped with an open shell metal cation or a metal anion. Structures and stabilities of hydrated magnesium water cluster anions with the formal stoichiometry [Mg,nH2O]-, n=1-11, were investigated by application of various correlated ab initio methods (MP2, CCSD, CCSD(T)). Metal cations surely have high relevance in numerous biological processes, and as most biological processes take place in aqueous solution hydrated metal ions will be involved. However, in biological systems solvent molecules (i.e. water) compete with different solvated chelate ligands for coordination sites at the metal ion and the solvent and chelate ligands are in mutual interactions with each other and the metal ion. These interactions were investigated for the hydration of ZnII/carnosine complexes by application of FT-ICR-MS, gas-phase H/D exchange experiments and supporting ab initio calculations. In the last chapter of this work the Free Electron Laser IR Multi Photon Dissocition (FEL-IR-MPD) spectra of mass selected cationic niobium acetonitrile complexes with the formal stoichiometry [Nb,nCH3CN]+, n=4-5, in the spectral range 780 – 2500 cm-1 are reported. In case of n=4 the recorded vibrational bands are close to those of the free CH3CN molecule and the experimental spectra do not contain any evident indication of a potential reaction beyond complex formation. By comparison with B3LYP calculated IR absorption spectra the recorded spectra are assigned to high spin (quintet, S=2), planar [NbI(NCCH3)4]+. In [Nb,nCH3CN]+, n=5, new vibrational bands shifted away from those of the acetonitrile monomer are observed between 1300 – 1550 cm-1. These bands are evidence of a chemical modification due to an intramolecular reaction. Screening on the basis of B3LYP calculated IR absorption spectra allow for an assignment of the recorded spectra to the metallacyclic species [NbIII(NCCH3)3(N=C(CH3)C(CH3)=N)]+ (triplet, S=1), which has formed in a internal reductive nitrile coupling reaction from [NbI(NCCH3)5]+. Calculated reaction coordinates explain the experimentally observed differences in reactivity between ground state [NbI(NCCH3)4]+ and [NbI(NCCH3)5]+. The reductive nitrile coupling reaction is exothermic and accessible (Ea=49 kJ mol-1) only in [NbI(NCCH3)5]+, whereas in [NbI(NCCH3)4]+ the reaction is found to be endothermic and retarded by significantly higher activation barriers (Ea>116 kJ mol-1).