The light-induced double-bond isomerization of the visual pigment rhodopsin operates a molecular-level optomechanical energy transduction, which triggers a crucial protein structure change. In fact, rhodopsin isomerization occurs according to a unique, ultrafast mechanism that preserves mode-specific vibrational coherence all the way from the reactant excited state to the primary photoproduct ground state. The engineering of such an energy-funnelling function in synthetic compounds would pave the way towards biomimetic molecular machines capable of achieving optimum light-to-mechanical energy conversion. Here we use resonance and off-resonance vibrational coherence spectroscopy to demonstrate that a rhodopsin-like isomerization operates in a biomimetic molecular switch in solution. Furthermore, by using quantum chemical simulations, we show why the observed coherent nuclear motion critically depends on minor chemical modifications capable to induce specific geometric and electronic effects. This finding provides a strategy for engineering vibrationally coherent motions in other synthetic systems.
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|Titolo:||Engineering the vibrational coherence of vision into a synthetic molecular device|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|