The influence of prototropic reactions on the spectral characteristics of methyl p-dimethylaminobenzoate (I) and its o-methoxy (II) and o-hydroxy (III) derivatives has been studied using steady-state spectroscopic technique and quantum-chemical calculations. This study concerns the solvent-induced shift of the absorption, locally excited (LE) and intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) fluorescence bands in the neat tetrahydrofuran (THF) and its hydrochloric acid solutions at different HCl concentrations. On the basis of the experimental results and quantum-chemical calculations, it was shown that in a hydrochloric acid solution the studied molecules exist as a mixture of neutral, mono-, and dicationic forms. Additionally, the results of spectroscopic measurements were used to calculate, according to the Benesi-Hildebrand method, the equilibrium constants of protopropic reactions in the ground, S0, and excited, S1, states. Our findings predestine molecules I and II to be used as acid fluorescence probes in a region of 0-2.5 M of [H+] concentrations. © 2011 The Author(s).
- Absorption and emission spectra
- Fluorescence quenching
- Methyl p-dimethylaminobenzoate
- Quantum-chemical calculations