Relaxation Dynamics of Hydrated Thymine, Thymidine, and Thymidine Monophosphate Probed by Liquid Jet Time-Resolved Photoelectron Spectroscopy

30 August 2019, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The relaxation dynamics of thymine and its derivatives thymidine and thymidine monophosphate were studied using time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy applied to a water microjet. Two absorption bands were studied, the first is a bright ππ* state which was populated using tunable-ultraviolet light in the range of 4.74 – 5.17 eV and probed using a 6.20 eV probe pulse. By reversing the order of these pulses, a band containing multiple ππ* states was populated by the 6.20 eV pulse and the lower energy pulse served as the probe. The lower lying ππ* state was found to decay in ~400 fs in both thymine and thymidine independent of pump photon energy while thymidine monophosphate decays varied from 670-840 fs with some pump energy dependence.

The application of a computational QM/MM scheme at the XMS-CASPT2//CASSCF/AMBER level of theory suggests that conformational differences existing between thymidine and thymidine monophosphate in solution accounts for this difference. The higher lying ππ* band was found to decay in ~600 fs in all three cases, but was only able to be characterized when using the 5.17 eV probe pulse. Notably, no long-lived signal from an np* state could be identified in either experiment on any of the three molecules.


Ultrafast Spectroscopies
Photoelectron spectroscopy
time resolved spectroscopy
thymine base
relaxation dynamics
Molecular Mechanical Calculations
QMMM simulations

Supplementary materials

Thymine to submit
SI to submit


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