highlight 8 2017

Sixteen orders of magnitude of time are sometimes necessary to fully understand the whole photocycle of a molecule. In the case of an azobenzene, the fluorescence lifetime measured with up-conversion (left picture) is so short that the population of the emitting state has entirely decayed after a few hundreds of femtoseconds. This is due to a trans-to-cis photoisomerisation. On the other hand, the cis-to-trans back isomerisation takes place in the electronic ground state on a hundreds of seconds timescale. The figure on the right shows the decrease of the absorbance of the trans form upon illumination and its subsequent recovery.

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Eric Vauthey

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