J. Sepiol, Y. Stepanenko, A. Vdovin, A. Mordzinski, E. Vogel, J. Waluk "Proton tunnelling in porphycene in supersonic jet", Chemical Physics Letters, 296 (1998) 549-556.

Porphycene, a constitutional isomer of porphyrin, was investigated in a supersonic jet expansion using laser-induced fluorescence and hole burning techniques. The lines recorded in the fluorescence excitation spectrum were split into doublets. No splitting was detected if one or both inner hydrogen atoms were replaced by deuterium. The doublet structure also disappeared upon formation of a complex between porphycene and water or alcohol. These findings indicate that the origin of the doublet structure in bare porphycene is the tunneling splitting due to the exchange of two inner protons between the nitrogen atoms. From the spectral response to deuteration, and to a change in cooling conditions, it is deduced that the tunneling splitting is higher in the ground state than in the first excited singlet state.

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