Ligand-Centred Fluorescence and Electronic Relaxation Cascade at Vibrational Time Scales in Transition-Metal Complexes

Fabrizio Messina, Enrico Pomarico, Mahsa Silatani, Majed Chergui, Etienne Baranoff, Fabrizio Messina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Using femtosecond-resolved photoluminescence up-conversion, we report the observation of the fluorescence of the high-lying ligand-centered (LC) electronic state upon 266 nm excitation of an iridium complex, Ir(ppy)3, with a lifetime of 70 ± 10 fs. It is accompanied by a simultaneous emission of all lower-lying electronic states, except the lowest triplet metal-to-ligand charge-transfer (3MLCT) state that shows a rise on the same time scale. Thus, we observe the departure, the intermediate steps, and the arrival of the relaxation cascade spanning ∼1.6 eV from the 1LC state to the lowest 3MLCT state, which then yields the long-lived luminescence of the molecule. This represents the first measurement of the total relaxation time over an entire cascade of electronic states in a polyatomic molecule. We find that the relaxation cascade proceeds in ≈10 fs, which is faster than some of the highest-frequency modes of the system. We invoke the participation of the latter modes in conical intersections and their overdamping to low-frequency intramolecular modes. On the basis of literature, we also conclude that this behavior is not specific to transition-metal complexes but also applies to organic molecules.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4475-4480
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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