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J Phys Chem A. 2011 Aug 11;115(31):8630-7. doi: 10.1021/jp204416m. Epub 2011 Jul 15.

Probing ultrafast dynamics in adenine with mid-UV four-wave mixing spectroscopies.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


Heterodyne-detected transient grating (TG) and two-dimensional photon echo (2DPE) spectroscopies are extended to the mid-UV spectral range in this investigation of photoinduced relaxation processes of adenine in aqueous solution. These experiments are the first to combine a new method for generating 25 fs laser pulses (at 263 nm) with the passive phase stability afforded by diffractive optics-based interferometry. We establish a set of conditions (e.g., laser power density, solute concentration) appropriate for the study of dynamics involving the neutral solute. Undesired solute photoionization is shown to take hold at higher peak powers of the laser pulses. Signatures of internal conversion and vibrational cooling dynamics are examined using TG measurements with signal-to-noise ratios as high as 350 at short delay times. In addition, 2DPE line shapes reveal correlations between excitation and emission frequencies in adenine, which reflect electronic and nuclear relaxation processes associated with particular tautomers. Overall, this study demonstrates the feasibility of techniques that will hold many advantages for the study of biomolecules whose lowest-energy electronic resonances are found in the mid-UV (e.g., DNA bases, amino acids).

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