Photofragment action spectroscopy and femtosecond time-resolved photoelectron imaging are utilized to probe the dissociation channels in iodide-uracil (I− ⋅ U) binary clusters upon photoexcitation. The photofragment action spectra show strong I− and weak [U- H]− ion signal upon photoexcitation. The action spectra show two bands for I− and [U- H]− production peaking around 4.0 and 4.8 eV. Time-resolved experiments measured the rate of I− production resulting from excitation of the two bands. At 4.03 eV and 4.72 eV, the photoelectron signal from I− exhibits rise times of 86 ± 7 ps and 36 ± 3 ps, respectively. Electronic structure calculations indicate that the lower energy band, which encompasses the vertical detachment energy (4.11 eV) of I−U, corresponds to excitation of a dipole-bound state of the complex, while the higher energy band is primarily a π-π∗ excitation on the uracil moiety. Although the nature of the two excited states is very different, the long lifetimes for I− production suggest that this channel results from internal conversion to the I− ⋅ U ground state followed by evaporation of I−. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the dissociation rates to Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel-Marcus calculations.
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