UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER
In this project supported by the Experimental Physical Chemistry Program, Professor David McCamant of the University of Rochester will develop femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopy (FSRS) to study ultrafast processes in photochemistry and photobiology. FSRS is a unique spectroscopic method that can probe vibrational modes over a very broad spectral window with femtosecond time resolution while maintaining high spectral resolution. The first application will be an exploration of excited-state structural dynamics of nucleic acids, specifically the structural evolution of model nucleotides and DNA oligomers after photo-excitation. This work will provide new understanding of the effects of ultraviolet light on DNA, which can includes photo-damage and the production of skin lesions. The second project will develop two-dimensional FSRS to probe vibrational anharmonicity, especially for molecules in pure and mixed solvent environments. Vibrational anharmonicity is the mechanism that drives heat conduction through molecules. Hence, these experiments will illuminate the mechanisms of heat dissipation and thermal degradation in biology and molecular electronics.