On the intramolecular proton transfer of 3-hydroxyflavone in the first singlet excited state: A theoretical study

Ricard Casadesús, Oriol Vendrell, Miquel Moreno, José M. Lluch, Keiji Morokuma

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The intramolecular proton-transfer reaction in 3-hydroxyflavone (3HF) is theoretically studied both in the ground (S0) and first singlet excited (S1) electronic states. In S0 the proton-transfer reaction is shown to be quite unfavorable at the DFT (B3LYP) level. However, the back proton transfer is found to be a feasible process with a small energy barrier, both results being in qualitative agreement with known experimental facts. Different theoretical levels are considered and compared for S1. The ab initio configuration interaction singles (CIS) method overestimates the energy of S1 and give too high energy barriers for the proton-transfer reaction. The complete active space SCF (CASSCF) method gives a more reasonable value but the inclusion of the dynamical correlation through second-order perturbation theory (CASPT2) upon CASSCF geometries or the use of the time-dependent DFT (TDDFT) method upon CIS geometries gives a barrierless process. Optimization of geometries (minima and transition-state structures) at the TDDFT level leads to a small but non-negligible energy barrier for the proton-transfer reaction in S1 and global energies that fit quite well with the known experimental (spectroscopic and femtochemistry) data. Finally the effect of a polar environment is analyzed through a continuum model, which gives only a small difference from the previous gas-phase results. This points out that the remarkable changes in the photochemistry of 3HF observed experimentally are not to be solely attributed to the polarity of the surrounding media. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-250
JournalChemical Physics
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2006


  • 3-Hydroxyflavone
  • Excited state intramolecular proton transfer
  • TDDFT optimizations


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