Optical absorption and emission studies have been carried out to understand the effect of deuterium on the solvent dependent photophysical properties of curcumin in deuterated solvents such as $CDCl_3,\;(CD_3)_2SO,\;(CD_3)_2CO,\;CD_3OD\;and\;CD_3CN$. Optical absorption spectral studies showed that there is no significant shift in absorption maxima compared to the non-deuterated solvent. The fluorescence maxima shows significant shift with polarity of solvent but not much affected by the deuteration. The fluorescence quantum yield of curcumin increased marginally in almost all the deuterated solvents, indicating reduction in the non-radiative pathways. The fluorescence decay was biexponential in all the solvents and the average fluorescence lifetime was not much affected with deuteration, but showed decrease with increasing solvent polarity. Based on these studies, it is concluded that intermolecular hydrogen transfer is only partially responsible for the excited state deactivation of curcumin.
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