Steady-state absorption, transient absorption, and transient grating spectroscopies were employed to elucidate the role of a conjugated carbonyl group in the photophysics of carotenoids. Spheroidenone and spheroidene have similar molecular structures and differ only in an additional carbonyl group in spheroidenone. Comparison of the optical responses of these two molecules under similar experimental conditions was used to understand the role of this carbonyl group in the structure. It was found that the carbonyl group has two main effects: first, it dramatically increases the depopulation rate of the excited states of the molecule. The lifetimes of all the excited states of spheroidenone were found to be almost half of the ones for spheroidene. Second, the presence of the carbonyl group in the chain alters the decay mechanism to the symmetry-forbidden S 1 state of the molecule, so that the higher vibrational levels of the S 1 state are populated much more effectively. It was also revealed that for both molecules, the S 2 /S x → S 1 (hot) → S 1 decay process is not purely sequential and follows a branched model.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry