Investigation of the excited state structure of DCM via ultrafast electronic pump/vibrational probe.
ABSTRACT Time resolved visible pump, infrared probe transient absorption measurements of the solutes 4-dicyanomethylene-2-methyl-6-(p-(dimethylamino)styryl)-4H-pyran (DCM) and its isotopomer DCM-d6 are employed to probe the dynamics of charge transfer state formation in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and acetonitrile (MeCN). We observe a two stage charge transfer (CT): the first step is an instrument-response-limited charge separation to the dicyanomethylene group, and the second involves a structural evolution of the dimethylamino group. Theoretical calculations and isotopic substitution indicate that the observed vibration is due to the dimethylamino group twisting out of plane, stabilizing the charge separation.
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ABSTRACT: Understanding how electric fields and their fluctuations in the active site of enzymes affect efficient catalysis represents a critical objective of biochemical research. We have directly measured the dynamics of the electric field in the active site of a highly proficient enzyme, Δ(5)-3-ketosteroid isomerase (KSI), in response to a sudden electrostatic perturbation that simulates the charge displacement that occurs along the KSI catalytic reaction coordinate. Photoexcitation of a fluorescent analog (coumarin 183) of the reaction intermediate mimics the change in charge distribution that occurs between the reactant and intermediate state in the steroid substrate of KSI. We measured the electrostatic response and angular dynamics of four probe dipoles in the enzyme active site by monitoring the time-resolved changes in the vibrational absorbance (IR) spectrum of a spectator thiocyanate moiety (a quantitative sensor of changes in electric field) placed at four different locations in and around the active site, using polarization-dependent transient vibrational Stark spectroscopy. The four different dipoles in the active site remain immobile and do not align to the changes in the substrate electric field. These results indicate that the active site of KSI is preorganized with respect to functionally relevant changes in electric fields.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2011; 108(40):16612-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Little is known about the reorganization capacity of water molecules at the active sites of enzymes and how this couples to the catalytic reaction. Here, we study the dynamics of water molecules at the active site of a highly proficient enzyme, Δ(5)-3-ketosteroid isomerase (KSI), during a light-activated mimic of its catalytic cycle. Photoexcitation of a nitrile-containing photoacid, coumarin183 (C183), mimics the change in charge density that occurs at the active site of KSI during the first step of the catalytic reaction. The nitrile of C183 is exposed to water when bound to the KSI active site, and we used time-resolved vibrational spectroscopy as a site-specific probe to study the solvation dynamics of water molecules in the vicinity of the nitrile. We observed that water molecules at the active site of KSI are highly rigid, during the light-activated catalytic cycle, compared to the solvation dynamics observed in bulk water. On the basis of this result, we hypothesize that rigid water dipoles at the active site might help in the maintenance of the preorganized electrostatic environment required for efficient catalysis. The results also demonstrate the utility of nitrile probes in measuring the dynamics of local (H-bonded) water molecules in contrast to the commonly used fluorescence methods which measure the average behavior of primary and subsequent spheres of solvation.The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 08/2012; 116(37):11414-21. · 3.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Multidimensional nonlinear spectroscopy, in the electronic and vibrational regimes, has reached maturity. To date, no experimental technique has combined the advantages of 2D electronic spectroscopy and 2D infrared spectroscopy, monitoring the evolution of the electronic and nuclear degrees of freedom simultaneously. The interplay and coupling between the electronic state and vibrational manifold is fundamental to understanding ensuing nonradiative pathways, especially those that involve conical intersections. We have developed a new experimental technique that is capable of correlating the electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom: 2D electronic-vibrational spectroscopy (2D-EV). We apply this new technique to the study of the 4-(di-cyanomethylene)-2-methyl-6-p-(dimethylamino)styryl-4H-pyran (DCM) laser dye in deuterated dimethyl sulfoxide and its excited state relaxation pathways. From 2D-EV spectra, we elucidate a ballistic mechanism on the excited state potential energy surface whereby molecules are almost instantaneously projected uphill in energy toward a transition state between locally excited and charge-transfer states, as evidenced by a rapid blue shift on the electronic axis of our 2D-EV spectra. The change in minimum energy structure in this excited state nonradiative crossing is evident as the central frequency of a specific vibrational mode changes on a many-picoseconds timescale. The underlying electronic dynamics, which occur on the hundreds of femtoseconds timescale, drive the far slower ensuing nuclear motions on the excited state potential surface, and serve as a excellent illustration for the unprecedented detail that 2D-EV will afford to photochemical reaction dynamics.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 06/2014;