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The spectroscopic behavior of lumichrome (7,8-dimethyl-alloxazine, LC) in aqueous solutions in a pH range from -1.08 to 14.6 is studied. Absorption spectra, fluorescence quantum distributions, quantum yields, and lifetimes are determined. The ionization stage of ground-state LC changes with rising pH from the cationic form (LCH(2)(+)) to the neutral form (LCH) with a mid-point pH of pK(c) ≈ -0.53, and to the anionic form (LC(-)) with a mid-point pH of pK(a) ≈ 12.5. Above pH 7 a partial ground-state tautomerization of LCH to 7,8-dimethyl-isoalloxazine (IAH) occurs by N1-N10 intra-molecular proton transfer. For pH > pK(a) ≈ 12.5 LCH and IAH change to the anionic forms LC(-) and IA(-), and above pH 14 LC(-) tautomerizes completely to IA(-). In the excited state some neutral lumichrome (LCH*) converts to cationic lumichrome (LCH(2)(+)) at low pH by proton transfer from H(3)O(+) to LCH*. No photoinduced excited-state tautomerization of lumichrome was observed. LCH for pH > 3 and IAH are reasonably fluorescent. The fluorescence efficiencies of LC(-) and IA(-) are lower than those of LCH and IAH. The fluorescence of LCH(2)(+) is strongly quenched likely by intra-molecular diabatic charge transfer and excited-state relaxation by potential surface touching with the ground state. © 2010 The Authors. Photochemistry and Photobiology © 2010 The American Society of Photobiology.


Amit Tyagi, Alfons Penzkofer. Absorption and emission spectroscopic characterization of lumichrome in aqueous solutions. Photochemistry and photobiology. 2011 May-Jun;87(3):524-33

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PMID: 21091486

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