Toward control of electron transfer in donor-acceptor molecules by bond-specific infrared excitation

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Science  19 Dec 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6216, pp. 1492-1495
DOI: 10.1126/science.1259995

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Big impact from a well-placed shake

Since the advent of ultrashort laser pulses, chemists have sought to steer reaction trajectories in real time by setting particular molecular vibrations in motion. Using this approach, Delor et al. have demonstrated a markedly clear-cut influence on electron transfer probabilities along the axis of a platinum complex. The complex comprised donor and acceptor fragments—which respectively give and take electrons upon ultraviolet excitation—bridged together by triply bonded carbon chains linked to the metal center. By selectively stimulating the carbon triple-bond stretch vibration with an infrared pulse, the authors could induce substantial changes in the observed electron transfer pathways between the fragments.

Science, this issue p. 1492