Probing ultrafast dynamics in biomolecules in natural environment using time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy

Martin Eckstein1, Fabio Frassetto2, Luca Poletto2, Julius Zielinski1, Nick Zhavoronkov1, Marc Vrakking1 and Oleg Kornilov1

1 Max-Born-Institut, Berlin, Germany, and
2 Laboratory for Ultraviolet and X-Ray Research, Padua, Italy




We report on the current status of the project, devoted to investigation of ultrafast electron dynamics in molecules and proteins that play a key role in photoactive biological systems. Recently these systems have been under active investigation using all-optical techniques. With the new advances in XUV pulse generation and liquid phase photoelectron spectroscopy we can now study these dynamics by means of Vis-XUV Pump-Probe Photoelectron spectroscopy. We are implementing a timecompensated monochromator to produce ultra short XUV pulses from a high order harmonic source and a micro liquid jet technology to bring solvated biomolecules in vacuum for photoelectron spectroscopy study. The setup will allow us to map the electron dynamics of the photoexcited system onto photoelectron spectrum with sub-10fs time resolution and probing valence and inner-valence states in the range of 15 to 50 eV. Advantages of the technique and prospects of detecting quantum coherent effects, that have been recently found in the energy transport in light harvesting complexes, are discussed.