Dynamics around solutes and solute-solvent complexes in mixed solvents

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Ultrafast 2D-IR vibrational echo experiments, IR pump-probe experiments, and FT-IR spectroscopy of the hydroxyl stretch of phenol-OD in three solvents, CCl4, mesitylene (1, 3, 5 trimethylbenzene), and the mixed solvent of mesitylene and CCl4 (0.83 mole fraction CCl4), are used to study solute-solvent dynamics via observation of spectral diffusion. Phenol forms a complex with Mesitylene. In the mesitylene solution, there is only complexed phenol; in the CCl4 solution, there is only uncomplexed phenol; and in the mixed solvent, both phenol species are present. Dynamics of the free phenol in CCl4 or the mixed solvent are very similar, and dynamics of the complex in mesitylene and in the mixed solvent are very similar. However, there are differences in the slowest time scale dynamics between the pure solvents and the mixed solvents. The mixed solvent produces slower dynamics that are attributed to first solvent shell solvent composition variations. The composition variations require a longer time to randomize than is required in the pure solvents, where only density variations occur. The experimental results and recent MD simulations indicate that the solvent structure around the solute may be different from the mixed solvent's mole fraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14221-14226
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sept 4
Externally publishedYes


  • Preferential solvation
  • Solute-solvent dynamics
  • Ultrafast infrared

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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