Norell, J.; Eckert, S.; Van Kuiken, B. E.; Foehlisch, A.; Odelius, M.: Ab initio simulations of complementary K-edges and solvatization effects for detection of proton transfer in aqueous 2-thiopyridone. The Journal of Chemical Physics 151 (2019), p. 114117/1-12

The nitrogen and sulfur K-edge X-ray absorption spectra of aqueous 2-thiopyridone, a model system for excited-state proton transfer in several recent time-resolved measurements, have been simulated from ab initio molecular dynamics. Spectral signatures of the local intra- and inter-molecular structure are identified and rationalized, which facilitates experimental interpretation and optimization. In particular, comparison of aqueous and gas phase spectrum simulations assesses the previously unquantified solvatization effects, where hydrogen bonding is found to yield solvatochromatic shifts up to nearly 1 eV of the main peak positions. Thereby, while each K-edge can still decisively determine the local protonation of its core-excited site, only their combined, complementary fingerprints allow separating all of the three relevant molecular forms, giving a complete picture of the proton transfer