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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 10, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  3. The ultrafast internal conversion (IC) and intersystem crossing (ISC) dynamics of 2-thiouracil (2TU) and 2-thiothymine (2TT) are studied with time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (TRPES) to investigate the effect of methylation on the deactivation mechanism.

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  4. Photo-oxa-dibenzocyclooctyne (Photo-ODIBO) undergoes photodecarbonylation under UV excitation to its bright S 2 state, forming a highly reactive cyclooctyne, ODIBO. Following 321 nm excitation with sub-50 fs actinic pulses, the excited state evolution and cyclopropenone bond cleavage with CO release were characterized using femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy and time-dependent density functional theory Raman calculations. Analysis of the photo-ODIBO S 2 CO Raman band revealed multi-exponential intensity, peak splitting and frequency-shift dynamics. This suggests a stepwise cleavage of the two C–C bonds in the cyclopropenone structure that is completed within <300 fs after excitation. Evidence of intramolecular vibrational relaxation on the S 2 state, concurrent with photodecarbonylation, with dynamics matching previous electronic transient absorption spectroscopy, was also observed. This confirms an excited state, as opposed to ground state, photodecarbonylation mechanism resulting in a vibronically excited photoproduct, ODIBO. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
  6. The photophysical properties of 2,4-dithiouracil (2,4-DTU) in the gas phase are studied by time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (TRPES) with three different excitation wavelengths in direct extension of previous work on uracil (U), 2-thiouracil (2-TU) and 4-thiouracil (4-TU). Non-radiative deactivation in the canonical nucleobases like uracil mainly occurs via internal conversion (IC) along singlet excited states, although intersystem crossing (ISC) to a long-lived triplet state was confirmed to play a minor role. In thionated uracils, ISC to the triplet state becomes ultrafast and highly efficient with a quantum yield near unity; however, the lifetime of the triplet state is strongly dependent on the position of the sulfur atom. In 2-TU, ISC back to the ground state occurs within a few hundred picoseconds, whereas the population remains trapped in the lowest triplet state in the case of 4-TU. Upon doubling the degree of thionation, ISC remains highly efficient and dominates the photophysics of 2,4-DTU. However, several low-lying excited states contribute to competing IC and ISC pathways and a complex deactivation mechanism, which is evaluated here based on TRPES measurements and discussed in the context of the singly thionated uracils. 
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  7. We report time-dependent photoelectron spectra recorded with a single-photon ionization setup and extensive simulations of the same spectra for the excited-state dynamics of 2-thiouracil (2TU) in the gas phase. We find that single-photon ionization produces very similar results as two-photon ionization, showing that the probe process does not have a strong influence on the measured dynamics. The good agreement between the single-photon ionization experiments and the simulations shows that the norms of Dyson orbitals allow for qualitatively describing the ionization probabilities of 2TU. This reasonable performance of Dyson norms is attributed to the particular electronic structure of 2TU, where all important neutral and ionic states involve similar orbital transitions and thus the shape of the Dyson orbitals do not strongly depend on the initial neutral and final ionic state. We argue that similar situations should also occur in other biologically relevant thio-nucleobases, and that the time-resolved photoelectron spectra of these bases could therefore be adequately modeled with the techniques employed here. 
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