Demonstration and interpretation of significant asymmetry in the low-resolution and high-resolution Q<inf>y</inf> fluorescence and absorption spectra of bacteriochlorophyll a

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Journal Article
Journal of Chemical Physics, 2011, 134 (2)
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Low-and high-resolution absorption and fluorescence emission Qy spectra of bacteriochlorophyll a (BChl a) were recorded, along with homogeneous band line shapes, revealing significant asymmetry between the absorption and emission profiles that are interpreted using a priori spectral calculations. The spectra were recorded in a range of organic solvents facilitating both penta- and hexacoordination of Mg at ambient and cryogenic temperatures. Detailed vibrational structure in the ground electronic state, virtually independent of Mg coordination, was revealed at 4.5 K by a holeburning fluorescence line-narrowing technique, complementing the high-resolution spectrum of the excited state measured previously by hole burning to provide the first complete description of the Qy absorption and fluorescence spectra of BChl a. Spectral asymmetry persists from 4.5 to 298 K. Timedependent density-functional theory calculations of the gas-phase absorption and emission spectra obtained using the CAM-B3LYP density functional, curvilinear coordinates, and stretch-bend-torsion scaling factors fitted to data for free-base porphyrin quantitatively predict the observed frequencies of the most-significant vibrational modes as well as the observed absorption/emission asymmetry. Most other semi-empirical, density-functional, and ab initio computational methods severely overestimate the electron-vibrational coupling and its asymmetry. It is shown that the asymmetry arises primarily through Duschinsky rotation. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.
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