Ultrafast excited-state deactivation of 9-methylhypoxanthine in aqueous solution: A QM/MM MD study

J Chem Phys. 2016 Apr 21;144(15):154306. doi: 10.1063/1.4946103.


Photoinduced ultrafast non-adiabatic decay of 9-methylhypoxanthine (9MHPX) in aqueous solution was investigated by ab initio surface-hopping dynamics calculations using a combined quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical approach. The absorption spectra of 9MHPX in aqueous solution were also explored by the hybrid cluster-continuum model at the level of time-dependent density functional theory along with the polarizable continuum model (PCM). The static electronic-structure calculations indicate that the absorption spectra of 9MHPX simulated by TD-B3LYP/PCM and TD-X3LYP/PCM can reproduce very well the experimental findings, with the accuracy of about 0.20 eV. According to dynamics simulations, irradiation of 9MHPX populates the bright excited singlet S1 state, which may undergo an ultrafast non-radiative deactivation to the S0 state. The lifetime of the S1 state of 9MHPX in aqueous solution is predicted to be 115.6 fs, slightly longer than that in the gas phase (88.8 fs), suggesting that the solventwater has no significant influence on the excited-state lifetime of 9MHPX. Such a behavior in 9MHPX is distinctly different from its parent hypoxanthine keto-N9H tautomer in which the excited-state lifetime of the latter in watersolution was remarkably enhanced as compared to the gas phase. The significant difference of the photodynamical behaviors between 9MHPX and keto-N9H can be ascribed to their different hydrogen bond environment in aqueous solution.

MeSH terms

  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • Hypoxanthines / chemistry*
  • Light
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation
  • Quantum Theory
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Water / chemistry


  • 9-methylhypoxanthine
  • Hypoxanthines
  • Water