• KANKAN BHATTACHARYYA

Articles written in Journal of Chemical Sciences

• Photoisomerization of merocyanine 540 in polymer-surfactant aggregate

Photoisomerization of merocyanine 540 (MC540) in a polymer-surfactant aggregate is studied using picosecond time resolved emission spectroscopy. The aggregate consists of the polymer, poly(vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP) and the surfactant, sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS). With increase in the concentration of SDS in an aqueous solution of MC540 containing PVP, the emission quantum yield and lifetime of MC540 increase markedly. This indicates marked retardation in the nonradiative photoisomerization process of MC540, when it binds to the polymer-surfactant aggregate. The critical association concentration of SDS for binding to PVP has been found to be 0.5 mM. This is about 16 times lower than the CMC of SDS in pure water (8 mM).

• Isomerization and fluorescence depolarization of merocyanine 540 in polyacrylic acid. Effect ofpH

Dynamics of isomerization and fluorescence depolarization of merocyanine 540 (MC540) in an aqueous solution of polyacrylic acid (PAA) have been studied using picosecond time resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. It is observed that the dynamics of isomerization and depolarization are sensitive enough to monitor the uncoiling of PAA at high pH (&gt; 6). At low pH (&lt; 3), when the polymer remains in a hypercoiled form, polymer bound MC540 experiences very high microscopic friction and, hence, the isomerization and depolarization processes are very slow. At high pH (&gt; 6) a polyanion is formed and the polymer assumes an extended configuration due to electrostatic repulsion. At high pH (&gt; 6), the anionic probe MC540 is expelled from the polyanion to bulk water and the dynamics of isomerization and fluorescence depolarization become faster by 12 and 5 times respectively, compared to those at low pH.

• Ultrafast chemistry in complex and confined systems

Self-organized molecular assemblies play a crucial role in many natural and biological processes. Recent applications of ultrafast laser spectroscopy and computer simulations revealed that chemistry in a confined environment is fundamentally different from that in ordinary solutions. Many recent examples of slow dynamics in constrained environments and their biological implications are discussed

• Excited-state proton transfer from pyranine to acetate in methanol

Excited-state proton transfer (ESPT) of pyranine (8-hydroxypyrene-1,3,6-trisulphonate, HPTS) to acetate in methanol has been studied by steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. The rate constant of direct proton transfer from pyranine to acetate ($k_1$) is calculated to be $\sim 1 \times 10^9$ M-1 s-1. This is slower by about two orders of magnitude than that in bulk water ($8 \times 10^{10}$ M-1 s-1) at 4 M acetate.

• On the origin of the anomalous ultraslow solvation dynamics in heterogeneous environments

Many recent experimental studies have reported a surprising ultraslow component (even &gt;10 ns) in the solvation dynamics of a polar probe in an organized assembly, the origin of which is not understood at present. Here we propose two molecular mechanisms in explanation. The first one involves the motion of the buried water’ molecules (both translation and rotation), accompanied by cooperative relaxation (‘local melting’) of several surfactant chains. An estimate of the time is obtained by using an effective Rouse chain model of chain dynamics, coupled with a mean first passage time calculation. The second explanation invokes self-diffusion of the (di)polar probe itself from a less polar to a more polar region. This may also involve cooperative motion of the surfactant chains in the hydrophobic core, if the probe has a sizeable distribution inside the core prior to excitation, or escape of the probe to the bulk from the surface of the self-assembly. The second mechanism should result in the narrowing of the full width of the emission spectrum with time, which has indeed been observed in recent experiments. It is argued that both the mechanisms may give rise to an ultraslow time constant and may be applicable to different experimental situations. The effectiveness of solvation as a dynamical probe in such complex systems has been discussed.

• Ultrafast fluorescence resonance energy transfer in a bile salt aggregate: Excitation wavelength dependence

Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) from Coumarin 153 (C153) to Rhodamine 6G (R6G) in a secondary aggregate of a bile salt (sodium deoxycholate, NaDC) is studied by femtosecond up-conversion. The emission spectrum of C153 in NaDC is analysed in terms of two spectra-one with emission maximum at 480 nm which corresponds to a non-polar and hydrophobic site and another with maximum at ∼ 530 nm which arises from a polar hydrophilic site. The time constants of FRET were obtained from the rise time of the emission of the acceptor (R6G). In the NaDC aggregate, FRET occurs in multiple time scales -4 ps and 3700 ps. The 4 ps component is assigned to FRET from a donor (D) to an acceptor (A) held at a close distance ($R_{\text{DA}} \sim 17$ Å) inside the bile salt aggregate. The 3700 ps component corresponds to a donor-acceptor distance ∼ 48 Å. The long (3700 ps) component may involve diffusion of the donor. With increase in the excitation wavelength ($\lambda_{\text{ex}}$) from 375 to 435 nm, the relative contribution of the ultrafast component of FRET (∼ 4 ps) increases from 3 to 40% with a concomitant decrease in the contribution of the ultraslow component (∼3700 ps) from 97 to 60%. The $\lambda_{ex}$ dependence is attributed to the presence of donors at different locations. At a long $\lambda_{\text{ex}}$ (435 nm) donors in the highly polar peripheral region are excited. A short $\lambda_{\text{ex}}$ (375 nm) selects’ donor at a hydrophobic location.

• Spatial inhomogeneity in spectra and exciton dynamics in porphyrin micro-rods and micro-brushes: Confocal microscopy

In an aqueous acidic solution, the porphyrin meso-tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl) porphyrin tetrasodium salt (TPPS) forms different kinds of assembly (micro-rods and micro-brush) depending on condition of evaporation. The exciton dynamics and emission spectra of the micro-rods and micro-brushes depend on spatialinhomogeneity. This is elucidated by time-resolved confocal microscopy.

• Size and Structure of Cytochrome-c bound to Gold nano-clusters: Effect of Ethanol

Size and structure of cytochrome c (Cyt C) bound to gold nano-clusters (AuNC) were studied using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The CD spectra of Cyt C indicate that the ellipticity is almost completely lost on binding to AuNC which indicates unfolding.Addition of ethanol causes partial restoration of ellipticity and hence, structure of Cyt C. FCS data indicate that size (hydrodynamic radius, rH) of free Cyt C is 17Å which increases to 24Å on binding to AuNC. This too suggests unfolding of Cyt C upon binding to AuNCs. Both the size and conformational relaxation time of Cyt C bound to AuNC vary non-monotonically with increase in ethanol content.

• Journal of Chemical Sciences

Volume 134, 2022
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• Editorial Note on Continuous Article Publication

Posted on July 25, 2019