Volume-conserving photoisomerization of a nonplanar GFP chromophore derivative: Nonadiabatic dynamics simulation.


School of Physics and Optoelectronic Engineering, Ludong University, Yantai 264025, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Nonadiabatic dynamics of a nonplanar green fluorescent protein (GFP) chromophore derivative was examined theoretically by trajectory surface hopping approach at the CASSCF level based on Zhu-Nakamura theory. The geometry optimizations show that there are four ground-state minima and four conical intersections between the ground (S0) and first excited (S1) states. Four S1-state minima were found at a perpendicularly twisted conformation around the imidazolinone-bridged bond. Upon excitation to S1 state, the main decay pathways of four isomers involve different S0/S1 potential energy surface conical intersections. The dominant excited-state relaxation mechanism of this GFP chromophore derivative is the twists of two bridging bonds and the methyl group in the bridge combined with the pyramidalization character of the central carbon atom. Further twists of two bridging bonds and the methyl group occur sequentially in the S0 state. It is worth to mention that the special volume-conserving motion of this molecule is attributed to twists of two bridging bonds in the same direction during the whole photoisomerization processes. The theoretical investigation presented herein provides important insights into the volume-conserving photoisomerization mechanisms of a nonplanar GFP chromophore derivative. We believe that the present work can benefit the design of the photochromic molecule devices in confined media.


GFP chromophore derivative,Photoisomerization,Reaction pathways,Surface hopping dynamics,

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