FTIR spectroscopic and theoretical study of the photochemistry of matrix-isolated coumarin

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Kus N., Breda S., Reva I., Tasal E., Ogretir C., Fausto R.

PHOTOCHEMISTRY AND PHOTOBIOLOGY, vol.83, no.5, pp.1237-1253, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The infrared spectrum of monomeric unsubstituted coumarin (C9H6O2; 2H-1-benzopyran-2-one), isolated in solid argon at 10 K is presented and assigned. The UV-induced (lambda > 200 nm) unimolecular photochemistry of the matrix-isolated compound was studied experimentally. Three main photoreactions were observed: (a) decarboxylation of the compound and formation of benzocyclobutadiene and CO2, with the Dewar form of coumarin as intermediate; (b) isomerization of the compound, leading to production of a conjugated ketene; and (c) decarbonylation, leading to formation of CO and benzofuran complex. Further decomposition of benzofuran to produce ethynol is suggested. Photochannels (a) and (b) correspond to those previously observed for matrix-isolated alpha-pyrone and its sulfur analogs (Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2004, 6, 929; J. Phys. Chem. A 2006, 110, 6415), while route (c) is similar to the UV-induced photochemistry of coumarin in the gaseous phase (J. Phys. Chem. A 2000, 104, 1095). Interpretation of the experimental data is supported by extensive calculations performed at the B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p), MP2/6-31G(d,p) and MP2/6-311 + + G(d,p) levels.