An artificial molecular switch that mimics the visual pigment and completes its photocycle in picoseconds

Single mols. that act as light-energy transducers (e.g., converting the energy of a photon into at.-level mech. motion) are examples of minimal mol. devices. Here, we focus on a mol. switch designed by merging a conformationally locked diarylidene skeleton with a retinal-like Schiff base and capable of mimicking, in soln., different aspects of the transduction of the visual pigment Rhodopsin. Complementary ab initio multiconfigurational quantum chem.-based computations and time-resolved spectroscopy are used to follow the light-induced isomerization of the switch in methanol. The results show that, similar to rhodopsin, the isomerization occurs on a 0.3-ps time scale and is followed by <10-ps cooling and solvation. The entire (2-photon-powered) switch cycle was traced by following the evolution of its IR spectrum. These measurements indicate that a full cycle can be completed within 20 ps.

Published in:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105, 46, 17642-17647
CAN 150:116044
General Biochemistry
Dipartimento di Chimica,Universita di Siena,Siena,Italy.
written in English.
1097665-20-7; 1097665-22-9 Role: BSU (Biological study, unclassified), PRP (Properties), BIOL (Biological study) (artificial mol. switch mimics visual pigment and completes photocycle in picoseconds)
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 Record created 2009-03-18, last modified 2018-03-17

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