Ultrafast Excited-State Proton-Transfer Reaction of 1-Naphthol-3,6-Disulfonate and Several 5-Substituted 1-Naphthol Derivatives Academic Article uri icon


  • The 1-naphthol molecule has been the subject of intense research activity for the past 60 years due to its complex behavior as a photoacid upon optical excitation. We have utilized femtosecond mid-infrared spectroscopy and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy to investigate the excited-state proton-transfer reaction of 1-naphthol-3,6-disulfonate (1N-3,6diS) and several 5-substituted 1-naphthol derivatives. The proton dissociation rate constant of 1N-3,6-diS was found to be about 3 times faster and the pKa* about 2 pKa units more acidic than the values previously reported in the literature. A Marcus (free-energy) plot of excited-state proton dissociation rate constants vs the excited-state equilibrium constant of the photoacids, Ka*, was constructed using the C-5 series of 1-naphthol derivatives. The newly measured values for the ESPT rate constant and pKa* of 1N-3,6diS was found to fit well with the Marcus correlation. We discuss our findings in the context of the photoacidity phenomenon in general, and the photoacidity of 1-naphthol and its derivatives in particular.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013