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Probing ultrafast pi pi*/n pi* internal conversion in organic chromophores via K-edge resonant absorption
Stanford PULSE Inst, SLAC Natl Accelerator Lab, 2575 Sand Hill Rd, Menlo Pk, CA 94025 USA..
Stanford PULSE Inst, SLAC Natl Accelerator Lab, 2575 Sand Hill Rd, Menlo Pk, CA 94025 USA.;Norwegian Univ Sci & Technol, Dept Chem, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway..
Stanford PULSE Inst, SLAC Natl Accelerator Lab, 2575 Sand Hill Rd, Menlo Pk, CA 94025 USA..
Univ Trieste, Dipartimento Sci Chim Farmaceutiche, Piazzale Europa 1, I-34127 Trieste, Italy.;Tech Univ Denmark, Dept Chem, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark..
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2017 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 8, article id 29Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many photoinduced processes including photosynthesis and human vision happen in organic molecules and involve coupled femtosecond dynamics of nuclei and electrons. Organic molecules with heteroatoms often possess an important excited-state relaxation channel from an optically allowed pi pi* to a dark n pi* state. The pi pi*/n pi* internal conversion is difficult to investigate, as most spectroscopic methods are not exclusively sensitive to changes in the excited-state electronic structure. Here, we report achieving the required sensitivity by exploiting the element and site specificity of near-edge soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy. As a hole forms in the n orbital during pi pi*/n pi* internal conversion, the absorption spectrum at the heteroatom K-edge exhibits an additional resonance. We demonstrate the concept using the nucleobase thymine at the oxygen K-edge, and unambiguously show that pi pi*/n pi* internal conversion takes place within (60 +/- 30) fs. High-level-coupled cluster calculations confirm the method's impressive electronic structure sensitivity for excited-state investigations.

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NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP , 2017. Vol. 8, article id 29
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Physical Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-329650DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00069-7ISI: 000403876000002PubMedID: 28642477OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-329650DiVA, id: diva2:1146582
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Knut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationSwedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2017-10-03 Created: 2017-10-03 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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