Excited states of bromopyrimidines probed by vuv photoabsorption spectroscopy and theoretical calculations

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We report absolute photoabsorption cross sections for gas‐phase 2‐ and 5‐ bromopyrimidine in the 3.7–10.8 eV energy range, in a joint theoretical and experimental study. The measurements were carried out using high‐resolution vacuum ultraviolet synchrotron radiation, with quantum chemical calculations performed through the nuclear ensemble approach in combination with time‐dependent density functional theory, along with additional Franck–Condon Herzberg–Teller calculations for the first absorption band (3.7–4.6 eV). The cross sections of both bromopyrimidines are very similar below 7.3 eV, deviating more substantially from each other at higher energies. In the 7.3–9.0 eV range where the maximum cross‐section is found, a single and broad band is observed for 5‐bromopyrimidine, while more discernible features appear in the case of 2‐bromopyrimidine. Several π* ← π transitions account for the most intense bands, while weaker ones are assigned to transitions involving the nitrogen and bromine lone pairs, the antibonding σ*Br orbital, and the lower‐lying Rydberg states. A detailed comparison with the available photo‐absorption data of bromobenzene is also reported. We have found significant differences regarding the main absorption band, which is more peaked in bromobenzene, becoming broader and shifting to higher energies in both bromopyrimidines. In addition, there is a significant suppression of vibrational structures and of Rydberg states in the pair of isomers, most noticeably for 2‐bromopyrimidine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6460
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2021


  • Halopyrimidines
  • Radiosensitizers
  • Time‐dependent density functional theory
  • Valence and Rydberg states
  • VUV photoabsorption


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