by Jun Ma, Anil Kumar, Yusa Muroya, Shinichi Yamashita, Tsuneaki Sakurai, Sergey A. Denisov, Michael D. Sevilla, Amitava Adhikary, Shu Seki and Mehran Mostafavi
Damage to DNA via dissociative electron attachment has been well-studied in both the gas and condensed phases; however, understanding this process in bulk solution at a fundamental level is still a challenge. Here, we use a picosecond pulse of a high energy electron beam to generate electrons in liquid diethylene glycol and observe the electron attachment dynamics to ribothymidine at different stages of electron relaxation. Our transient spectroscopic results reveal that the quasi-free electron with energy near the conduction band effectively attaches to ribothymidine leading to a new absorbing species that is characterized in the UV-visible region. This species exhibits a nearly concentration-independent decay with a time constant of ~350 ps. From time-resolved studies under different conditions, combined with data analysis and theoretical calculations, we assign this intermediate to an excited anion radical that undergoes N1-C1′ glycosidic bond dissociation rather than relaxation to its ground state.