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Proceedings Paper

Uncovering the mechanism of the ultrafast UV-energy dissipation in the eumelanin pigment
Author(s): Aleksandra Ilina; Karen E. Thorn; Paul A. Hume; Justin M. Hodgkiss
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Paper Abstract

The black-brown pigment eumelanin acts as a vital barrier to the harmful UV radiation. With an ingenious ability to effectively dissipate 99.9% of the incoming UV energy to the heat within few picoseconds, eumelanin serves as a natural photo-protectant. To unravel the nature of the energy dissipation we study the eumelanin pigment and its major building block using ultrafast broadband transient absorption spectroscopy. The excited state decay was found to be fluence independent for all excitation energies, suggesting that electronic excitations are also spatially localized. The short excited state lifetime – on the order of a few picoseconds – leads to a suggestion that the energy is dissipated through excited-state intramolecular proton transfer, which we examined via comparison with pH-dependent TA spectroscopy of the DHICA and related building blocks.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 March 2020
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 11270, Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XX, 112700C (2 March 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2544549
Show Author Affiliations
Aleksandra Ilina, Victoria Univ. of Wellington (New Zealand)
Karen E. Thorn, Victoria Univ. of Wellington (New Zealand)
Paul A. Hume, Victoria Univ. of Wellington (New Zealand)
Justin M. Hodgkiss, Victoria Univ. of Wellington (New Zealand)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11270:
Frontiers in Ultrafast Optics: Biomedical, Scientific, and Industrial Applications XX
Peter R. Herman; Michel Meunier; Roberto Osellame, Editor(s)

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