Resonance Raman spectra of the simple peptide model compound N-methylacetamide have been obtained with 218- and 200-nm laser radiation. A large enhancement of the amide II vibration is observed relative to that of Raman spectra obtained with visible radiation. Replacement of the amide hydrogen by deuterium results in a spectrum with most of its intensity in the amide II′ mode. Excitation of this deuterated species with 200-nm radiation results in intensity in the overtones of this modes, a feature characteristic of resonance enhanced spectra. Isotopic substitution of the amide carbon and nitrogen by 13C and 15N results in a spectral shift to lower frequency by nearly the amount expected for a normal mode consisting primarily of the motion of the amide C and N atoms. These results, taken together, demonstrate that the geometry change of N-methylacetamide upon electronic excitation to the π-π* state is dominated by a change in the C-N bond length. Studies of mixtures of the deuterio and protio forms show that a significant normal mode rotation occurs on isotopic substitution such that the amide II′ of the deuterio form becomes approximately equally distributed between the amide II and III vibrations of the protio form. The amide I and I′ vibrations are very diffuse in aqueous solutions at the high dilutions used. These bands become sharp in acetonitrile. This behavior is interpreted in terms of a range of frequencies for this vibration due to a distribution of hydrogen-bonded species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry