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Singlet excited state behavior of uracil and thymine in aqueous solution: a combined experimental and computational study of 11 uracil derivatives
T. Gustavsson, A. Banyasz, E. Lazzarotto, D. Markovitsi, G. Scalmani, M. J. Frisch, V. Barone, R. Improta, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 607-619.
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The excited-state properties of uracil, thymine, and nine other derivatives of uracil have been studied by steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopy. The excited-state lifetimes were measured using femtosecond fluorescence upconversion in the UV. The absorption and emission spectra of five representative compounds have been computed at the TD−DFT level, using the PBE0 exchange-correlation functional for ground- and excited-state geometry optimization and the Polarizable Continuum Model (PCM) to simulate the aqueous solution. The calculated spectra are in good agreement with the experimental ones. Experiments show that the excited-state lifetimes of all the compounds examined are dominated by an ultrafast (<100 fs) component. Only 5-substituted compounds show more complex behavior than uracil, exhibiting longer excited-state lifetimes and biexponential fluorescence decays. The S0/S1 conical intersection, located at CASSCF (8/8) level, is indeed characterized by pyramidalization and out of plane motion of the substituents on the C5 atom. A thorough analysis of the excited-state Potential Energy Surfaces, performed at the PCM/TD−DFT(PBE0) level in aqueous solution, shows that the energy barrier separating the local S1 minimum from the conical intersection increases going from uracil through thymine to 5-fluorouracil, in agreement with the ordering of the experimental excited-state lifetime.

#1181 - Last update : 01/20 2009


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