Electron Detachment as a Probe of Intrinsic Nucleobase Dynamics in Dianion-Nucleobase Clusters: Photoelectron Spectroscopy of the Platinum II Cyanide Dianion Bound to Uracil, Thymine, Cytosine, and Adenine

Ananya Sen, Gao Lei Hou, Xue Bin Wang, Caroline E H Dessent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the first low-temperature photoelectron spectra of isolated gas-phase complexes of the platinum II cyanide dianion bound to nucleobases. These systems are models for understanding platinum-complex photodynamic therapies, and a knowledge of the intrinsic photodetachment properties is crucial for characterizing their broader photophysical properties. Well-resolved, distinct peaks are observed in the spectra, consistent with complexes where the Pt(CN)<inf>4</inf><sup>2-</sup> moiety is largely intact. Adiabatic electron detachment energies for the dianion-nucleobase complexes are measured to be 2.39-2.46 eV. The magnitudes of the repulsive Coulomb barriers of the complexes are estimated to be between 1.9 and 2.1 eV, values that are lower than for the bare Pt(CN)<inf>4</inf><sup>2-</sup> dianion as a result of charge solvation by the nucleobases. In addition to the resolved spectral features, broad featureless bands indicative of delayed electron detachment are observed in the 193 nm photoelectron spectra of the four dianion-nucleobase complexes and also in the 266 nm spectra of the Pt(CN)<inf>4</inf><sup>2-</sup>·thymine and Pt(CN)<inf>4</inf><sup>2-</sup>·adenine complexes. The selective excitation of these features in the 266 nm spectra is attributed to one-photon excitation of [Pt(CN)<inf>4</inf><sup>2-</sup>·thymine]∗ and [Pt(CN)<inf>4</inf><sup>2-</sup>·adenine]∗ long-lived excited states that can effectively couple to the electron detachment continuum, producing strong electron detachment signals. We attribute the delayed electron detachment bands observed here for Pt(CN)<inf>4</inf><sup>2-</sup>·thymine and Pt(CN)<inf>4</inf><sup>2-</sup>·adenine but not for Pt(CN)<inf>4</inf><sup>2-</sup>·uracil and Pt(CN)<inf>4</inf><sup>2-</sup>·cytosine to fundamental differences in the individual nucleobase photophysics following 266 nm excitation. This indicates that the Pt(CN)<inf>4</inf><sup>2-</sup> dianion in the clusters can be viewed as a "dynamic tag" which has the propensity to emit electrons when the attached nucleobase displays a long-lived excited state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11626-11631
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2015

Cite this