Dipolar solvation as a signature of dielectric responses in supercooled liquids

Ranko Richert, Achim Wagener

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57 Scopus citations


Time-resolved Stokes shifts of phosphorescence bands are investigated by monitoring the solvation dynamics of electronically excited probe molecules embedded at low concentrations in organic supercooled liquids of varying polarities. The long-lived TI states of the solutes give access to dipolar equilibration of the glassy medium near TG on a millisecond to second time scale. Coincidence of solvation and glass transition temperatures over a large TG range relates the spectral shift to the a process of the glass with only minor sensitivities to the specific probe molecule. Emission energy data for the Franck-Condon and equilibrated solvent configurations allow determination of the change in dipole moment upon T1 ← S0 excitation in agreement with theoretical predictions. Relative polarities of the glasses as quantified by the positive solvatochromism of quinoxaline are highly correlated to the corresponding values for the liquid state at 20°C. The observed solvation dynamics map the dielectric response to a motion of charge and can be rationalized in terms of dielectric dispersion, importance of microscopic solvent behavior, and an excess cooperativity of longitudinal relaxations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10115-10123
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of physical chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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