Rotational dynamics of metal azide ion pairs in dimethylsulfoxide solutions

Hyewon Son, Youngah Kwon, Jinwoo Kim, Sungnam Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Azide ion is an excellent vibrational probe for studying ion-ion and ion-dipole interactions in solutions because its frequency is sensitively dependent on its local environments. When azide ion forms contact ion pairs with cations in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), free azide ion and contact ion pairs are spectrally well distinguished in FTIR spectra. Here, we investigated vibrational population relaxation, P(t), and orientational relaxation dynamics, r(t), of free azide ion and contact ion pairs (LiN3, NaN3, NH 4N3, MgN3+, and CaN3 +) in DMSO by IR pump-probe spectroscopy. For metal azide ion pairs, the metal ion slowed down the vibrational relaxation of azide ion by acting like a thermal insulator. Biexponential behavior of r(t) was analyzed in the wobbling-in-a-cone model. The long time component of r(t) of free azide ion was found to be viscosity-dependent. The wobbling motion of azide ion within the frame of metal azide ion pairs was weakly dependent on the countercation. When the overall orientational relaxation of metal azide ion pairs was analyzed by the extended Debye-Stokes-Einstein equation, it was well described under stick or superstick boundary conditions due to a strong interaction between the metal ion and DMSO molecules. Our experimental results provide important insight in understanding the rotational dynamics of small ionic species in polar solvents when the size of the ionic species is smaller than or comparable to that of the solvent molecule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2748-2756
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar 7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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