A theoretical study about the structural, electronic and spectroscopic properties of the ground and singlet excited states of curcuminoidic core

Enrico Benassi, Ferdinando Spagnolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Curcumin, a well-known Indian spice, holds a variety of properties in many different fields from medicinal chemistry to dye industry. The peculiar electronic structure makes curcumin a valuable metal chelator. The principal aim of this work is a computational study of the structural and electronic properties of the ground and the first singlet excited states of the curcuminoidic core. Concerning the ground state, tautomeric equilibrium, vibrational and thermochemical analysis and electronic absorption spectra (with ab initio and semi-empirical methodologies) have been studied. A full geometry optimization of the first singlet excited states was obtained, with different computational methodologies. Solvent effects are also implicitly considered. An accurate comparison of the results is presented. Interesting aspects emerge, which suggest successive investigation about the nature of the excited states. The obtained results may be of large applicative interest. If curcuminoids are considered as potential ligands for complexes formation with metallic ions of pharmaceutical, medical-physical and technological interest, exciting the system with photons of appropriate frequencies, a photomodulated release of the metallic ion in the environment might be guessed, because of an important photoinduced geometrical modification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-250
Number of pages16
JournalTheoretical Chemistry Accounts
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • 1,7-Diphenyl-1,6-heptadiene-3,5-dione
  • 1,7-Diphenyl-5-hydroxy-1,4,6-heptatrien-3-one
  • Complete active space multiconfiguration SCF (CAS-SCF)
  • Configuration interaction (CI-S)
  • Curcuminoid
  • Density functional theory (DFT)
  • Electronic excited states optimization
  • Time-dependent SCF (TD-SCF)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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