The fluorescent properties of 2-hydroxy Nile red dye (HONR) proved to be highly sensitive to the basicity of hydrogen bond acceptors. Fluorescence quantum yields and fluorescence decay profiles were measured as the function of the concentration of organic nitrogen compounds in solvents of various polarities. The detailed mechanism and the kinetics of the fluorescence quenching were revealed with the combined analysis of the steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic data. The relative contribution of the competing reaction steps was found to be very sensitive to the basicity of the additive and to solvent polarity. The most profound change appeared in the unimolecular deactivation pathways of the excited hydrogen-bonded HONR, whereas the formation rate of this species varied to a lesser extent. The dissociation into excited HONR and ground-state base was able to compete with the energy dissipation only when 2,4,6-trimethylpyridine was used as hydrogen bond acceptor in toluene. The bimolecular quenching of the excited hydrogen-bonded complex played significant role in apolar solvents. Proton displacement along the hydrogen bond in the excited complex led to excited ion pairs in polar media.
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Vol. 81 • No. 5