Journal article

IR-induced conformational isomerization of a helical peptide in a cold ion trap

In this work we use laser-induced population transfer techniques to study the conformational isomerization of a helical peptide, Ac-Phe-(Ala)5-LysH+, in a cold ion trap. In one scheme, called IR-UV hole-filling spectroscopy, a single conformation is selectively excited with an IR pump laser via a distinct NH stretch vibration. After giving the vibrationally excited ions sufficient time to isomerize and re-cool in the trap, the new conformational redistribution is detected by UV photofragment spectroscopy. While we clearly observe a redistribution of the conformer populations due to isomerization, only those conformations that initially have population participate in this redistribution–we do not form conformers that were not initially present in the trap. In a second scheme, called IR-induced population transfer spectroscopy, we determine the fractional populations of the four stable conformations of Ac-Phe-(Ala)5-LysH+ by scanning the IR laser while selectively detecting a specific conformation using UV photofragment spectroscopy.


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