Excited state dynamics of DNA and RNA bases

PHYS 434

Michael P Hudock, hudock@chad.scs.uiuc.edu1, Benjamin G. Levine, ben@spawn.scs.uiuc.edu1, and Todd J. Martinez, tjm@spawn.scs.uiuc.edu2. (1) Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois, 600 S. Mathews, Urbana, IL 61801, (2) Department of Chemistry and the Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, 600 S. Mathews, Urbana, IL 61801
Recent ultrafast spectroscopic experiments have reported excited state lifetimes for DNA and RNA bases and assigned these lifetimes to various electronic states. We have used theoretical and simulation methods to describe the excited state dynamics of these bases in an effort to provide a mechanistic explanation for the observed lifetimes. Our simulations are based on ab initio molecular dynamics, where the electronic and nuclear Schrodinger equations are solved simultaneously. The results are further verified by comparison to high-level ab initio electronic structure methods, including dynamic electron correlation effects through multireference perturbation theory, at important points along the dynamical pathways. Our results provide an explanation of the photochemical mechanism leading to nonradiative decay of the electronic excited states and some suggestions as to the origin of the different lifetimes. Comparisons between pyrimidines illustrate how chemical differences impact excited state dynamics and may play a role in explaining the propensity for dimer formation in thymine.

Poster Session
7:30 PM-10:00 PM, Wednesday, 13 September 2006 Moscone Center -- Hall D, Poster

Division of Physical Chemistry

The 232nd ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, September 10-14, 2006