Ultrafast dynamics of uracil and thymine studied using a sub-10 fs deep ultraviolet laser†
Single 9.6 fs deep ultraviolet pulses with a spectral range of 255–290 nm are generated by a chirped-pulse four-wave mixing technique for use as pump and probe pulses. The electronic excited state and vibrational dynamics are simultaneously observed for an aqueous solution of uracil and thymine over the full spectral range using a 128-channel lock-in amplifier detector. Two probe photon energy-dependent lifetimes gradually increasing with the probe photon energy are obtained from the decay dynamics data. Ultrafast decay dynamics through the conical intersection is assigned from the first excited ππ* to the final ground state involving the nπ* states. Vibrational modes of the electronic ground state and excited states can be observed, which are strongly coupled to the decay dynamics of the electronic excited state.