Femtosecond IR spectroscopy of delocalized NH excitations of crystalline acetanilide confirms that self-trapping in hydrogen-bonded peptide units exists and does stabilize the excitation. Two phonons with frequencies of 48 and 76 cm(-1) are identified as the major degrees of freedom that mediate self-trapping. After selective excitation of the free exciton, self-trapping occurs within a few 100 fs. Excitation of the self-trapped states disappears from the spectral window of this investigation on a 1 ps time scale, followed by a slow ground state recovery of the hot ground state within 18 ps.
Bibliographical noteCopyright (2002) American Physical Society