Quantitative fluorescence excitation spectra of synthetic eumelanin

TitleQuantitative fluorescence excitation spectra of synthetic eumelanin
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsNighswander-Rempel, S. P., Riesz J. J., Gilmore J. B., Bothma J. P., and Meredith Paul
JournalJournal Of Physical Chemistry B
AbstractPreviously reported excitation spectra for eumelanin are sparse and inconsistent. Moreover, these studies have failed to account for probe beam attenuation and emission reabsorption within the samples, making them qualitative at best. We report for the first time quantitative excitation spectra for synthetic eumelanin, acquired for a range of solution concentrations and emission wavelengths. Our data indicate that probe beam attenuation and emission reabsorption significantly affect the spectra even in low-concentration eumelanin solutions and that previously published data do not reflect the true excitation profile. We apply a correction procedure (previously applied to emission spectra) to account for these effects. Application of this procedure reconstructs the expected relationship of signal intensity with concentration, and the normalized spectra show a similarity in form to the absorption profiles. These spectra reveal valuable information regarding the photophysics and photochemistry of eumelanin. Most notably, an excitation peak at 365 urn (3.40 eV), whose position is independent of emission wavelength, is possibly attributable to a 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) component singly linked to a polymeric structure.