An excited state dynamics driven reaction: wavelength-dependent photoisomerization quantum yields in [Ru(bpy)2(dmso)2]2+

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© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2020. We report the excited-state behavior of a structurally simplebis-sulfoxide complex,cis-S,S-[Ru(bpy)2(dmso)2]2+, as investigated by femtosecond pump-probe spectroscopy. The results reveal that a single photon prompts phototriggered isomerization of one or both dmso ligands to yield a mixture ofcis-S,O-[Ru(bpy)2(dmso)2]2+andcis-O,O-[Ru(bpy)2(dmso)2]2+. The quantum yields of isomerization of each product and relative product distribution are dependent upon the excitation wavelength, with longer wavelengths favoring the double isomerization product,cis-O,O-[Ru(bpy)2(dmso)2]2+. Transient absorption measurements oncis-O,O-[Ru(bpy)2(dmso)2]2+do not reveal an excited-state isomerization pathway to produce either the S,O or S,S isomers. Femtosecond pulse shaping experiments reveal no change in the product distribution. Pump-repump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy ofcis-S,S-[Ru(bpy)2(dmso)2]2+shows that a pump-repump time delay of 3 ps dramatically alters the S,O : O,O product ratio; pump-repump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy ofcis-O,O-[Ru(bpy)2(dmso)2]2+with a time delay of 3 ps uncovers an excited-state isomerization pathway to produce the S,O isomer. In conjunction with low-temperature steady-state emission spectroscopy, these results are interpreted in the context of an excited-state bifurcating pathway, in which the isomerization product distribution is determined not by thermodynamics, but rather as a dynamics driven reaction.