The metal-ligand charge transfer (3MLCT) and the phosphorescence-quenching metal-centered (3MC) states of the helicate and mesocate conformers of a double- stranded dinuclear polypyridylruthenium(II) complex have been investigated using ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy. At 294 K, transient signals of the helicate decayed significantly slower than the mesocate, whereas at 77 K, no clear contrast in kinetics was observed. Contributions to excited-state decay from high-lying 3MLCT states were identified at both temperatures. Spectroscopic data (294 K) suggest that the 3MC state of the helicate lies above the 3MLCT and the reverse is true for the mesocate; this was further validated by DFT calculations. The stabilization of the 3MC state relative to the 3MLCT state in the mesocate was explained by a reduction in ligand field strength due to distortion near the ligand bridge which causes further deviation from octahedral geometry compared to the helicate. This work illustrates how minor structural differences can significantly influence excited state dynamics.
Photophysical Studies of Helicate and Mesocate Double-Stranded Dinuclear Ru(II) Complexes