We report the vibronic and cation spectra of four rotamers of m-methoxystyrene, recorded by using the two-color resonant two-photon ionization and mass-analyzed threshold ionization techniques. The excitation energies of the S1← S0 electronic transition are found to be 32 767, 32 907, 33 222, and 33 281 cm−1, and the corresponding adiabatic ionization energies are 65 391, 64 977, 65 114, and 64 525 cm−1 for these isomeric species. Most of the observed active vibrations in the electronically excited S1 and cationic ground D0 states involve in-plane ring deformation and substituent-sensitive bending motions. It is found that the relative orientation of the methoxyl with respect to the vinyl group does not influence the vibrational frequencies of the ring-substituent bending modes. The two dimensional potential energy surface calculations support our experimental finding that the isomerization is restricted in the S1 and D0 states.

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