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Non-adiabatic couplings between Born-Oppenheimer-derived potential energy surfaces are now recognized as pivotal in describing the non-radiative decay of electronically excited molecules following photon absorption. This Opinion piece illustrates how non-Born-Oppenheimer effects provide photostability to many biomolecules when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, yet in many other cases are key to facilitating ‘reactive’ outcomes like isomerisation and bond fission. The examples are presented in order of decreasing molecular complexity, spanning studies of organic sunscreen molecules in solution, through two families of heteroatom containing aromatic molecules and culminating with studies of isolated gas phase H2O molecules that afford some of the most detailed insights yet available into the cascade of non-adiabatic couplings that enable the evolution from photoexcited molecule to eventual products.
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 28 Jun 2021|
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