Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 5, 2014
Previous Article Next Article

The role of πσ* states in the photochemistry of heteroaromatic biomolecules and their subunits: insights from gas-phase femtosecond spectroscopy

Author affiliations

Abstract

In an effort to illuminate why nature has chosen a particular set of bio-molecular ‘building-blocks’ for life, recent years have seen an up-surge of gas-phase spectroscopy experiments aimed at understanding why the DNA/RNA nucleobases, aromatic amino acids and their corresponding chromophore subunits, exhibit a resistance to photochemical damage (photostability) following the absorption of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The research considered in this Perspective article specifically focuses on the role of electronically excited dissociative 1πσ* states (formed through the photo-induced promotion of an electron in a σ* ← π molecular orbital transition), which have been implicated to contribute to this photostable behaviour. In particular, we review the application of gas-phase femtosecond pump-probe spectroscopies to gain insights into 1πσ* state driven relaxation dynamics in a number of heteroaromatic biomolecules and their UV chromophore subunits. This Perspective article also discusses how the information obtained from these studies can be used as a ‘stepping-stone’ for extending this research to larger, more complex biomolecules and ultimately, more realistic systems in solution.

Graphical abstract: The role of πσ* states in the photochemistry of heteroaromatic biomolecules and their subunits: insights from gas-phase femtosecond spectroscopy

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 18 Nov 2013, accepted on 23 Dec 2013 and first published on 02 Jan 2014


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C3SC53175A
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2014,5, 1698-1722
  •   Request permissions

    The role of πσ* states in the photochemistry of heteroaromatic biomolecules and their subunits: insights from gas-phase femtosecond spectroscopy

    G. M. Roberts and V. G. Stavros, Chem. Sci., 2014, 5, 1698
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SC53175A

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements