Real-time observation of photoionization-induced water migration dynamics in 4-methylformanilide–water by picosecond time-resolved infrared spectroscopy and ab initio molecular dynamics simulations
A novel time-resolved pump-probe spectroscopic approach that enables to keep high resolution in both the time and energy domain, nanosecond excitation-picosecond ionization-picosecond infrared probe (ns-ps-ps TRIR) spectroscopy, has been applied to the trans-4-methylformanilide-water (4MetFA-W) cluster. Water migration dynamics from the CO to the NH binding site in a peptide linkage triggered by photoionization of 4MetFA-W is directly monitored by the ps time evolution of IR spectra, and the presence of an intermediate state is revealed. The time evolution is analyzed by rate equations based on a four-state model of the migration dynamics. Time constants for the initial to the intermediate and hot product and to the final product are obtained. The acceleration of the dynamics by methyl substitution and the strong contribution of intracluster vibrational energy redistribution in the termination of the solvation dynamics is suggested. This picture is well confirmed by the ab initio on-the-fly molecular dynamics simulations. Vibrational assignments of 4MetFA and 4MetFA-W in the neutral (S-0 and S-1) and ionic (D-0) electronic states measured by ns IR dip and electron-impact IR photodissociation spectroscopy are also discussed prior to the results of time-resolved spectroscopy.
Published in: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 10.1039/d1cp03327a, Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)