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J Phys Chem A. 2009 Nov 12;113(45):12686-93. doi: 10.1021/jp905085x.

Photodynamics simulations of thymine: relaxation into the first excited singlet state.

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Institute for Theoretical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Austria.


Ab initio nonadiabatic dynamics simulations are reported for thymine with focus on the S(2) --> S(1) deactivation using the state-averaged CASSCF method. Supporting calculations have been performed on vertical excitations, S(1) and S(2) minima, and minima on the crossing seam using the MS-CASPT2, RI-CC2, MR-CIS, and MR-CISD methods. The photodynamical process starts with a fast (<100 fs) planar relaxation from the S(2) pipi* state into the pi(O)pi* minimum of the S(2) state. The calculations demonstrate that two pi-excited states (denoted pipi* and pi(O)pi*) are actually involved in this stage. The time in reaching the S(2)/S(1) intersections, through which thymine can deactivate to S(1), is delayed by both the change in character between the states as well as the flatness of the S(2) surface. This deactivation occurs in an average time of 2.6 ps at the lowest-energy region of the crossing seam. After that, thymine relaxes to the npi* minimum of the S(1) state, where it remains until the transfer to the ground state takes place. The present dynamics simulations show that not only the pi(O)pi* S(2) trapping but also the trapping in the npi* S(1) minimum contribute to the elongation of the excited-state lifetime of thymine.

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