We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Staff and Governance

Core Staff

The day-to-day running of IMEMS is the responsibility of the Core Executive Committee, comprising the Director and Associate Directors and the Administrator. 

Publication details for Prof. Andrew Beeby

Roy, Khokan, Kayal, Surajit, Kumar, Venkatraman Ravi, Beeby, Andrew, Ariese, Freek & Umapathy, Siva (2017). Understanding Ultrafast Dynamics of Conformation Specific Photo-Excitation: A Femtosecond Transient Absorption and Ultrafast Raman Loss Study. The Journal of Physical Chemistry 121(35): 6538-6546.

Author(s) from Durham


Excited state ultrafast conformational reorganization is
recognized as an important phenomenon that facilitates light-induced
functions of many molecular systems. This report describes the
femtosecond and picosecond conformational relaxation dynamics of
middle-ring and terminal ring twisted conformers of the acetylene π-
conjugated system bis(phenylethynyl)benzene, a model system for
molecular wires. Through excitation wavelength dependent, femtosecond-transient
absorption measurements, we found that the middlering
and terminal ring twisted conformers relax at femtosecond (400−600
fs) and picosecond (20−24 ps) time scales, respectively. Actinic pumping
into the red flank of the absorption spectrum leads to excitation of
primarily planar conformers, and results in very different excited state
dynamics. In addition, ultrafast Raman loss spectroscopic studies revealed
the vibrational mode dependent relaxation dynamics for different excitation wavelengths. To corroborate our experimental
findings, DFT and time-dependent DFT calculations were carried out. The Franck−Condon simulation indicated that the
vibronic structure observed in the electronic absorption and the fluorescence spectra are due to progressions and combinations of
several vibrational modes corresponding to the phenyl ring and the acetylenic groups. Furthermore, the middle ring torsional
rotation matches the room-temperature electronic absorption, in stark contrast to the terminal ring torsional rotation. Finally, we
show that the middle-ring twisted conformer undergoes femtosecond torsional planarization dynamic, whereas the terminal rings
relax on a few tens of picosecond time scale.

Full Executive Committee

Our Full Executive Committee is made up of the Core Executive Committee, listed above, plus a number of executive members including:

International Advisory Board

We are extremely fortunate to have be able to call on the help and guidance of colleagues from around the world who help to shape and guide our direction, strategy and international reach. Our current Advisory Board members are: