Although the interfaces between two isotropic media are of primary importance in many areas of science and technology, their properties are only partially understood. Our strategy to obtain an insight into these properties is to investigate the ultrafast excited-state dynamics of environment-sensitive molecular probes at liquid interfaces using time-resolved surface second harmonic generation, and to compare it with the dynamics of the same molecules in bulk solutions. Additionally, this approach gives rich information on how the chemical reactivity may change when going from the bulk phase to the interface. This is illustrated by an investigation performed with a series of fluorescent DNA probes at the dodecane/water interface without and with the presence of DNA in the aqueous phase. Substantial differences in the conformation of these cyanine dyes (aggregated or not) and in the excited-state dynamics are observed when going from bulk solutions to the interface. Moreover, the presence of double-stranded DNA in the aqueous phase induces some chirality at the interface.
Giuseppe Licari and Eric Vauthey, "Ultrafast excited-state dynamics at interfaces: fluorescent DNA probes at the dodecane/water interface," Proc. SPIE 9549, Physical Chemistry of Interfaces and Nanomaterials XIV, 95490M (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 10, 2015; Published: 20 August 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2191507.
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