“Flashes of light” to catch electrons moving in biological molecules

International Year of Light Blog

At the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnology (IFN-CNR), we have developed a tool to follow with extremely high temporal resolution the movement of electrons in molecules of biological interest. By using “flashes of light”, it has been possible to track in real-time the electron dynamics occurring in amino acids (building blocks of proteins) after interaction with ionizing radiation. The measured electronic motion is the fastest process ever observed in a biological structure.

Attosecond Laboratory. Credit: IFN-CNR and Politecnico di Milano. Attosecond Laboratory. Credit: IFN-CNR and Politecnico di Milano.

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