The formation of weakly-bound dimers of N-methylformamide (NMF) and the photochemistry of these dimers after irradiation at 248 nm were explored using matrix-isolation spectroscopy. Calculations were used to characterize the diverse isomers and assign their IR spectra; non-adiabatic dynamics was simulated to understand their photo-deactivation mechanism. The most stable dimers, tt-1 and tt-2, were obtained by trans-trans aggregation (N-H⋯O-C interactions) and could be identified in the matrix. The main products formed after irradiation are the trans-cis dimers (tc-3 and tc-4), also stabilized by N-H⋯O-C interactions. In contrast to the photochemistry of the monomers, no dissociative products were observed after 248 nm irradiation of the dimers. The absence of dissociative products can be explained by a proton-transfer mechanism in the excited state that is faster than the photo-dissociative mechanism. The fact that hydrogen bonding has such a significant effect on the photochemical stability of NMF has important implications to understand the stability of peptide-bonded systems to UV irradiation.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics|
|Early online date||28 Jul 2014|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Sep 2014|