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Ultrafast coherent photoisomerization in biomimetic photoswitches

Date Do, 29.11.2012 - Do, 29.11.2012
Time 10.15
Speaker Dr. Jérémie Léonard, Institut de Physique et Chimie des Matériaux, IPCMS-DON, Université de Strasbourg - CNRS, France
Location Universität Bern, Institut für Angewandte Physik, Gebäude exakte Wissenschaften, Hörsaal B116, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern
Program Within the Department of ultrafast Optics and Nanophotonics (DON) at IPCMS, the BIODYN team (for « BIOmolecular DYNamics ») applies femtosecond spectroscopy to investigate photoinduced ultrafast processes in organic molecules in condensed phase. After introducing shortly our different subjects of interest (organic photovoltaics, biomolecular interactions), I will focus on our latest work on ultrafast coherent photoisomerization in biomimetic photoswitches. Coherent photoisomerization is a rare, ultrafast process in which the photon energy activates a selected set of reactive vibrational modes, thus ensuring efficient photomechanical energy conversion. We combine experimental and theoretical approaches to investigate this process in a model molecular switch. Transient absorption reveals signatures of a quantum vibrational wave packet that drives the molecular motion from the electronic excited S1 to the ground S0 states, thus mimicking energy conversion in rhodopsin. Quantum chemistry and semi-classical trajectory computations allow us to unravel the mechanistic origin of the observed oscillations.
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