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New Insights into the Charge-Transfer-to-Solvent Spectrum of Aqueous Iodide: Surface versus Bulk


Liquid phase charge-transfer-to-solvent (CTTS) transitions are important, as they serve as photochemical routes to solvated electrons. In this work, broadband deep-ultraviolet electronic sum frequency generation (DUV-ESFG) and two-photon absorption (2PA) spectroscopic techniques were used to assign and compare the nature of the aqueous iodide CTTS excitations at the air/water interface and in bulk solution. In the one-photon absorption (1PA) spectrum, excitation to the 6s Rydberg-like orbital (5p → 6s) gives rise to a pair of spin-orbit split iodine states, 2P3/2 and 2P1/2. In the 2PA spectra, the lower-energy 2P3/2 peak is absent and the observed 2PA peak, which is ∼0.14 eV blue-shifted relative to the upper 2P1/2 CTTS peak seen in 1PA, arises from 5p → 6p electronic promotion. The band observed in the ESFG spectrum is attributed to mixing of excited states involving 5p → 6p and 5p → 6s promotions caused by both vibronic coupling and the external electric field generated by asymmetric interfacial solvation.

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