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J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Nov 25;131(46):16939-43. doi: 10.1021/ja907355a.

Excited-state dynamics of cytosine tautomers.

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  • 1Max Born Institute, Max-Born-Strasse 2A, D-12489, Berlin-Adlershof, Germany.


We report the relaxation dynamics of keto and enol or keto-imino cytosine, photoexcited in the wavelength range of 260-290 nm. Three transients with femtosecond to hundreds of picoseconds lifetimes are observed for the biologically relevant keto tautomer and are assigned to internal conversion and excited-state tautomerization. Only two transients with femtosecond and picosecond lifetimes are identified for the enol or keto-imino tautomer and are assigned to internal conversion processes. The results are discussed in the context of published ab initio theory.

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