Indexed on: 23 Mar '06Published on: 23 Mar '06Published in: Journal of Physical Chemistry A
Picosecond Stokes and anti-Stokes Raman spectra are used to probe the structural dynamics and reactive energy flow in the primary cis-to-trans isomerization reaction of rhodopsin. The appearance of characteristic ethylenic, hydrogen out-of-plane (HOOP), and low-wavenumber photoproduct bands in the Raman spectra is instrument-response-limited, consistent with a subpicosecond product appearance time. Intense high and low-frequency anti-Stokes peaks demonstrate that the all-trans photoproduct is produced vibrationally hot on the ground-state surface. Specifically, the low-frequency modes at 282, 350, and 477 cm(-1) are highly vibrationally excited (T > 2000 K) immediately following isomerization, revealing that these low-frequency motions directly participate in the reactive curve-crossing process. The anti-Stokes modes are characterized by a approximately 2.5 ps temporal decay that coincides with the conversion of photorhodopsin to bathorhodopsin. This correspondence shows that the photo-to-batho transition is a ground-state cooling process and that energy storage in the primary visual photoproduct is complete on the picosecond time scale. Finally, unique Stokes vibrations at 290, 992, 1254, 1290, and 1569 cm(-1) arising from the excited state of rhodopsin are observed only at 0 ps delay.