New Research


2008/06/01

Advanced Laser-Spectroscopic Study on Fluctuations of Molecular Systems


Professor Hiroshi Miyasaka, Associate Professor Yutaka Nagasawa, Assistant Professor Syoji Ito

For molecular processes in condensed phase, such as chemical reactions, molecular assembling, and conformational change in macromolecules, fluctuation of environments takes an important role. In order to directly elucidate the fluctuation coupled with these chemical processes, our group is studying dynamic behaviors of molecular systems by mainly employing two experimental methods
First one is ultimate femtosecond temporal measurement with a time resolution beyond the period of molecular vibration. We apply this method to the direct detection of photoprimary processes in excitation energy transfer, electron transfer, photodissociation, and photochromic reaction, taking place in solution, solid, and biological environments.
Second important method is single molecular spectroscopy, which enables the observation of individual molecules and provides the information on inhomogeneity and heterogeneity in condensed phase. The temporal detection of individual molecules allows the observation of fluctuation around the equilibrium (thermal fluctuation) that is hardly detectable by conventional ensemble measurements. By using this method, we are exploring the molecular dynamics such as conformational fluctuation in DNA and proteins, molecular diffusion in nano-scaled pores, and cross-linked polymers.
By developing the apparatus and techniques of these investigations and integrating information obtained through these methods, we are proposing novel photo-functional molecular systems and new molecular systems with extremely low energy consumption.


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