Issue 2, 2024

Biomolecular infrared spectroscopy: making time for dynamics


Time resolved infrared spectroscopy of biological molecules has provided a wealth of information relating to structural dynamics, conformational changes, solvation and intermolecular interactions. Challenges still exist however arising from the wide range of timescales over which biological processes occur, stretching from picoseconds to minutes or hours. Experimental methods are often limited by vibrational lifetimes of probe groups, which are typically on the order of picoseconds, while measuring an evolving system continuously over some 18 orders of magnitude in time presents a raft of technological hurdles. In this Perspective, a series of recent advances which allow biological molecules and processes to be studied over an increasing range of timescales, while maintaining ultrafast time resolution, will be reviewed, showing that the potential for real-time observation of biomolecular function draws ever closer, while offering a new set of challenges to be overcome.

Graphical abstract: Biomolecular infrared spectroscopy: making time for dynamics

Article information

Article type
03 Oct 2023
24 Nov 2023
First published
28 Nov 2023
This article is Open Access

All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Creative Commons BY license

Chem. Sci., 2024,15, 414-430

Biomolecular infrared spectroscopy: making time for dynamics

N. T. Hunt, Chem. Sci., 2024, 15, 414 DOI: 10.1039/D3SC05223K

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