Acid effect on photobase properties of curcumin

Katherine Akulov, Ron Simkovitch, Yuval Erez, Rinat Gepshtein, Tal Schwartz, Dan Huppert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Femtosecond UV-vis pump-probe spectroscopy was employed to study the acid effect on curcumin in the excited state. Curcumin in solutions of weak acids was found to be a photobase forming a protonated curcumin within a few tens of picoseconds from the time of excitation. The excited-state protonation reaction is also observed in the steady-state emission spectrum as a new red emission band with a maximum at 620 nm in the presence of weak acids. The transient pump-probe spectrum consists of four spectral bands, two emission bands, and two absorption bands. We assign a transient absorption band at ∼600 nm and an emission band at ∼540 nm to the neutral ROH form of curcumin. An absorption band at ∼500 nm and an emission band at 620 nm are assigned to the protonated ROH2+ form of curcumin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2470-2479
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number13
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2014


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