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Excited-State Relaxation of Hydrated Thymine and Thymidine Measured by Liquid-Jet Photoelectron Spectroscopy: Experiment and Simulation

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journal contribution
posted on 17.12.2015 by Franziska Buchner, Akira Nakayama, Shohei Yamazaki, Hans-Hermann Ritze, Andrea Lübcke
Time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy is performed on thymine and thymidine in aqueous solution to study the excited-state relaxation dynamics of these molecules. We find two contributions with sub-ps lifetimes in line with recent excited-state QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations (J. Chem. Phys. 2013, 139, 214304). The temporal evolution of ionization energies for the excited ππ* state along the QM/MM molecular dynamics trajectories were calculated and are compatible with experimental results, where the two contributions correspond to the relaxation paths in the ππ* state involving different conical intersections with the ground state. Theoretical calculations also show that ionization from the nπ* state is possible at the given photon energies, but we have not found any experimental indication for signal from the nπ* state. In contrast to currently accepted relaxation mechanisms, we suggest that the nπ* state is not involved in the relaxation process of thymine in aqueous solution.