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Issue 48, 2010
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Overruling the energy gap law: fast triplet formation in 6-azauracil

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Abstract

The photophysical properties of 6-azauracil were studied by means of ab initio quantum chemical methods. On the basis of our calculations we propose here the following mechanism for the lack of fluorescence and the high triplet quantum yield that was observed experimentally after irradiation of this compound with UV light [Kobayashi et al., J. Phys. Chem. A, 2008, 112, 13308]. Multiple potential energy surface crossings between excited singlet states of π → π* and n → π* character lead to an ultrafast transfer of the S2 (1π → π*) population to the lower-lying S1 (1n → π*) state. This state acts as a doorway state from which the T1 (3π → π*) state is formed approximately within 125 ps in the isolated 6-azauracil and within 30 ps in acetonitrile solution according to our calculations. The enhancement of the S1 [radiolysis arrow - arrow with voltage kink] T1 intersystem crossing in acetonitrile solution is noteworthy as it goes along with an increased adiabatic energy gap between the interacting states. Blue shift of the S1 potential energy surface by about 0.2 eV in this polar, aprotic environment places the intersection between the S1 and T1 potentials close to the S1 minimum, thus increasing the overlap of the vibrational wavefunctions and consequently speeding up the spin-forbidden nonradiative transition.

Graphical abstract: Overruling the energy gap law: fast triplet formation in 6-azauracil

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Article information


Submitted
01 Apr 2010
Accepted
29 Jun 2010
First published
03 Aug 2010

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010,12, 15665-15671
Article type
Paper

Overruling the energy gap law: fast triplet formation in 6-azauracil

M. Etinski and C. M. Marian, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2010, 12, 15665
DOI: 10.1039/C0CP00106F

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