Time-resolved photoelectron imaging of model biological chromophores
Thompson, James O. F.
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Investigating the underlying forces that have a key role in light-matter interactions is crucial to understanding many fundamental processes that occur in nature. This thesis describes a series of experiments investigating model biological chromophores, providing an insight into the photochemistry of “ultraviolet selfprotection” schemes, invoked in many molecules involved in the protection of flora and fauna from the potentially damaging effects of excess ultraviolet radiation. These experiments are achieved through the application of time-resolved photoelectron imaging (TR-PEI) supported by high-level computational chemistry calculations. This thesis will set out both the motivation for the work, consisting of a comprehensive literature review of the subject, as well as an in-depth description of the optical set-up, laser system and spectrometer, as well as non-trivial data handling approaches involved in performing the experiments. This will lead on to work concerning the model chromophore aniline (and several aniline derived systems), guaiacol and finally a series of tertiary aliphatic amines. To conclude, various potential avenues of future work are discussed, considering both the experimental methodology and possible molecules of interest building upon the work described within this thesis.