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Keywords:

  • ab initio calculations;
  • Dewar valence isomer;
  • DNA damage;
  • time-resolved IR spectroscopy;
  • UV irradiation
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The importance of a backbone: The mechanism of formation of Dewar lesions (see scheme) has been investigated by using femtosecond IR spectroscopy and ab initio calculations of the exited state. The 4π electrocyclization is rather slow, occurs with an unusual high quantum yield, and—surprisingly—is controlled by the phosphate backbone.