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J Phys Chem B. 2009 Sep 3;113(35):11999-2004. doi: 10.1021/jp905139n.

Solvation dynamics of the fluorescent probe PRODAN in heterogeneous environments: contributions from the locally excited and charge-transferred states.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011-3111, USA.


The coexistence of different excited states with different properties of the same chromophores could have significant consequences for the accurate characterization of solvation dynamics in a heterogeneous environment, such as a protein. The purpose of this work is to study the contributions of the locally excited (LE) and charge-transferred (CT) states of the fluorescent probe molecule 6-propionyl-2-(N,N-dimethylamino)naphthalene (PRODAN) to its solvation dynamics in the heterogeneous environment provided by reverse micelles formed by sodium 1,4-bis-(2-ethylhexyl) sulfosuccinate (AOT)/n-heptane/water. We have found that the LE and CT states of PRODAN solvate on different time scales in reverse micelles (2 and approximately 0.4 ns, respectively), consistent with results suggested in the literature, and have concluded that PRODAN's use as a probe of heterogeneous environments must be used with caution and that, more importantly, the same caution must be exercised with any chromophore capable of emitting from different excited states.

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