Abstract: Multi-photon ionization experiments have been carried out on thymine-water clusters in the gas phase. Metastable H2O loss from T+(H2O)n was observed at n ≥ 3 only. Ab initio quantum-chemical calculations of a large range of optimized T+(H2O)n conformers have been performed up to n = 4, enabling binding energies of water to be derived. These decrease smoothly with n, consistent with the general trend of increasing metastable H2O loss in the experimental data. The lowest-energy conformers of T+(H2O)3 and T+(H2O)4 feature intermolecular bonding via charge-dipole interactions, in contrast with the purely hydrogen-bonded neutrals. We found no evidence for a closed hydration shell at n = 4, also contrasting with studies of neutral clusters. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
- NUCLEIC-ACID BASES