Observation of Ultrafast Charge Migration in an Amino Acid

Louise Belshaw, Francesca Calegari, Martin Duffy, Andrea Trabattoni, Luca Poletto, Mauro Nisoli, Jason Greenwood

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92 Citations (Scopus)
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We present the first direct measurement of ultrafast charge migration in a biomolecular building block the amino acid phenylalanine. Using an extreme ultraviolet pulse of 1.5 fs duration to ionize molecules isolated in the gas phase, the location of the resulting hole was probed by a 6 fs visible/near-infrared pulse. By measuring the yield of a doubly charged ion as a function of the delay between the two pulses, the positive hole was observed to migrate to one end of the cation within 30 fs. This process is likely to originate from even faster coherent charge oscillations in the molecule being dephased by bond stretching which eventually localizes the final position of the charge. This demonstration offers a clear template for observing and controlling this phenomenon in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3751–3754
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 03 Dec 2012


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