Observation of Near-Threshold Resonances in the Flavin Chromophore Anions Alloxazine and Lumichrome

Edward Matthews, Caroline E.H. Dessent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lumichrome (LC) is the chromophore of the flavin family of photoactive biomolecules, where key biochemical activity involves interplay between redox and photophysical events. Questions remain about the relationship between the redox status of the ground and excited states and demand an improved understanding of the intrinsic photochemistry. Using anion photodissociation spectroscopy, we have measured the intrinsic electronic spectroscopy (564-220 nm) and accompanying photodegradation pathways of the deprotonated anionic form of LC. Experiments were also performed on alloxazine (AL), which is equivalent to LC minus two methyl groups. We observe a resonance state close to 3.8 eV for both anions for the first time, which we tentatively assign to dipole-bound excited states. For AL this state is sufficiently long-lived to facilitate dissociative electron attachment. Our results suggest that the presence of methyl group rotors at key positions along the molecular dipole may reduce the lifetime of the resonance state and hence provide a structural barrier to valence electron capture, and ensuing molecular dissociation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6124-6130
Number of pages7
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2018

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