(TD-)DFT calculation of vibrational and vibronic spectra of riboflavin in solution

Bastian Klaumünzer, Dominik Kröner, Peter Saalfrank
Journal of Physical Chemistry. B 2010 August 26, 114 (33): 10826-34
The photophysics and photochemistry of flavin molecules are of great interest due to their role for the biological function of flavoproteins. An important analysis tool toward the understanding of the initial photoexcitation step of flavins is electronic and vibrational spectroscopy, both in frequency and time domains. Here we present quantum chemical [(time-dependent) density functional theory ((TD-)DFT)] calculations for vibrational spectra of riboflavin, the parent molecule of biological blue-light receptor chromophores, in its electronic ground (S(0)) and lowest singlet excited states (S(1)). Further, vibronic absorption spectra for the S(0) --> S(1) transition and vibronic emission spectra for the reverse process are calculated, both including mode mixing. Solvent effects are partially accounted for by using a polarizable continuum model (PCM) or a conductor-like screening model (COSMO). Calculated vibrational and electronic spectra are in good agreement with measured ones and help to assign the experimental signals arising from photoexcitation of flavins. In particular, upon photoexcitation a loss of double bond character in the polar region of the ring system is observed which leads to vibronic fine structure in the electronic spectra. Besides vibronic effects, solvent effects are important for understanding the photophysics of flavins in solution quantitatively.

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