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

Article information


Submitted
18 Nov 2013
Accepted
23 Dec 2013
First published
02 Jan 2014

Chem. Sci., 2014,5, 1698-1722
Article type
Perspective

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

Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements