Acid effect on excited Auramine-O molecular rotor relaxations in solution and adsorbed on insulin fibrils

R. Simkovitch, K. Akulov, Y. Erez, N. Amdursky, R. Gepshtein, T. Schwartz, D. Huppert

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5 Scopus citations


Steady-state and time-resolved UV-Vis spectroscopy techniques were employed to study the nonradiative process of Auramine-O (AuO). We focused our attention on the ultrafast nonradiative decay of Auramine-O in water and on the acid effect on Auramine-O spectroscopy. We found that weak acids like formic acid shorten the excited-state decay times of both the emission and the transient pump-probe spectra of Auramine-O. We found three time domains in the relaxation of the excited states back to the ground state. In mixtures of acetic and formic acids, the three decay times associated with the relaxation process are shorter in the presence of formic acid in Auramine-O solutions. We qualitatively explain the very large non-radiative rate in water and in formic-acetic acid mixtures by a protic nonradiative model proposed by Sobolewski and Domcke. The steady-state emission spectrum of AuO adsorbed on insulin fibrils consists of two bands assigned to protonated and deprotonated forms and the emission intensity increases by three orders of magnitude. We conclude that the nonradiative process prevails in the liquid state∗whereas when AuO is adsorbed on fibrils the nonradiative rate is reduced by three orders of magnitude and thus enables a slow ESPT process to occur.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034005
JournalMethods and Applications in Fluorescence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2015


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation


    • Acid-base reactions
    • Excited-state dynamics
    • Molecular rotors
    • Photobase


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