Ultrafast Excited-State Deactivation of the Bacterial Pigment Violacein


The photophysical properties of the natural pigment violacein extracted from an Antarctic organism adapted to high exposure levels of UV radiation were measured in a combined steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic study for the first time. In the low-viscosity solvents methanol and acetone, violacein exhibits low fluorescence quantum yields on the order of 1 x 10(-4), and femtosecond transient absorption measurements reveal excited-state lifetimes of 3.2 +/- 0.2 and 4.6 +/- 0.2 ps in methanol and acetone, respectively. As solvent viscosity is increased, both the fluorescence quantum yield and excited-state lifetime of this intensely colored pigment increase dramatically, and stimulated emission decays 30-fold more slowly in glycerol than in methanol at room temperature. Excited-state deactivation is suggested to occur via a molecular-rotor mechanism in which torsion interring bond leads to a conical intersection with the ground state.




Beckstead, Ashley A., Yuyuan Zhang, Jonathan K. Hilmer, Heidi J. Smith, Emily Bermel, Christine M. Foreman, and Bern Kohler. “Ultrafast Excited-State Deactivation of the Bacterial Pigment Violacein.” Journal of Physical Chemistry A (July 28, 2017). doi:10.1021/acs.jpca.7b05769.
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