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Molecules 2016, 21(12), 1645; doi:10.3390/molecules21121645

Excited-State Dynamics of Melamine and Its Lysine Derivative Investigated by Femtosecond Transient Absorption Spectroscopy

1
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA
2
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Ohio State University, 100 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carlos E. Crespo-Hernández
Received: 1 November 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Experimental and Computational Photochemistry of Bioorganic Molecules)
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Abstract

Melamine may have been an important prebiotic information carrier, but its excited-state dynamics, which determine its stability under UV radiation, have never been characterized. The ability of melamine to withstand the strong UV radiation present on the surface of the early Earth is likely to have affected its abundance in the primordial soup. Here, we studied the excited-state dynamics of melamine (a proto-nucleobase) and its lysine derivative (a proto-nucleoside) using the transient absorption technique with a UV pump, and UV and infrared probe pulses. For melamine, the excited-state population decays by internal conversion with a lifetime of 13 ps without coupling significantly to any photochemical channels. The excited-state lifetime of the lysine derivative is slightly longer (18 ps), but the dominant deactivation pathway is otherwise the same as for melamine. In both cases, the vast majority of excited molecules return to the electronic ground state on the aforementioned time scales, but a minor population is trapped in a long-lived triplet state. View Full-Text
Keywords: s-triazines; prebiotic molecules; UV photostability; time-resolved vibrational spectroscopy s-triazines; prebiotic molecules; UV photostability; time-resolved vibrational spectroscopy
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Zhang, Y.; Beckstead, A.A.; Hu, Y.; Piao, X.; Bong, D.; Kohler, B. Excited-State Dynamics of Melamine and Its Lysine Derivative Investigated by Femtosecond Transient Absorption Spectroscopy. Molecules 2016, 21, 1645.

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