Effect of the Solvent Environment on the Spectroscopic Properties and Dynamics of the Lowest Excited States of Carotenoids

Harry A. Frank*, James A. Bautista, Jesusa Josue, Zeus Pendon, Roger G. Hiller, Frank P. Sharples, David Gosztola, Michael R Wasielewski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

273 Scopus citations


The spectroscopic properties and dynamics of the lowest excited singlet states of peridinin, fucoxanthin, neoxanthin, uriolide acetate, spheroidene, and spheroidenone in several different solvents have been studied by steady-state absorption and fast-transient optical spectroscopic techniques. Peridinin, fucoxanthin, uriolide acetate, and spheroidenone, which contain carbonyl functional groups in conjugation with the carbon-carbon π-electron system, display broader absorption spectral features and are affected more by the solvent environment than neoxanthin and spheroidene, which do not contain carbonyl functional groups. The possible sources of the spectral broadening are explored by examining the absorption spectra at 77 K in glassy solvents. Also, carotenoids which contain carbonyls have complex transient absorption spectra and show a pronounced dependence of the excited singlet state lifetime on the solvent environment. It is postulated that these effects are related to the presence of an intramolecular charge transfer state strongly coupled to the S1 (21Ag) excited singlet state. Structural variations in the series of carotenoids studied here make it possible to focus on the general molecular features that control the spectroscopic and dynamic properties of carotenoids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4569-4577
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 11 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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