American Chemical Society
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Tautomerization of Thymine Using Ultraviolet Light

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-08-23, 00:00 authored by Jakob Vinje, Merete Falck, Federico Mazzola, Simon Phillip Cooil, Henrik Koch, Ida-Marie Høyvik, Justin Wells
Ultraviolet-light-induced changes to the nucleobase thymine deposited onto a MoS2 surface were studied using photoelectron spectroscopy and first-principles calculations. These measurements suggest changes in the molecular structure indicated by changes in core electron binding energies. The experimental work has been interpreted by means of ab initio calculations using coupled cluster singles and doubles (CCSD) linear response theory. Contrary to the expected behavior, i.e., the dimerization of two thymine molecules into a pyrimidine dimer, a shift between two tautomeric forms was observed upon UV-exposure. Exposure to ionizing radiation is known to induce damage in many biological molecules, and the present work gives additional insight into its effects on thymine, the interactions of the molecules, and finally how certain UV photoproducts may be avoided.