Nature of Fast Relaxation Processes and Spectroscopy of a Membrane-Active Peptide Modified with Fluorescent Amino Acid Exhibiting Excited State Intramolecular Proton Transfer and Efficient Stimulated Emission
ACS Omega 2021, 6 (15), 10119–10128
A fluorescently labeled peptide that exhibited fast excited state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) was synthesized, and the nature of its electronic properties was comprehensively investigated, including linear photophysical and photochemical characterization, specific relaxation processes in the excited state, and its stimulated emission ability. The steady-state absorption, fluorescence, and excitation anisotropy spectra, along with fluorescence lifetimes and emission quantum yields, were obtained in liquid media and analyzed based on density functional theory quantum-chemical calculations. The nature of ESIPT processes of the peptide’s chromophore moiety was explored using a femtosecond transient absorption pump-probe technique, revealing relatively fast ESIPT velocity (∼10 ps) in protic MeOH at room temperature. Efficient superluminescence properties of the peptide were realized upon femtosecond excitation in the main long-wavelength absorption band with a corresponding threshold of the pump pulse energy of ∼1.5 μJ. Quantum-chemical analysis of the electronic structure of the peptide was performed using the density functional theory/time-dependent density functional theory level of theory, affording good agreement with experimental data.