5 years ago

Quantum Coherent Excitation Energy Transfer by Carotenoids in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting

Quantum Coherent Excitation Energy Transfer by Carotenoids in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting
Amy M. LaFountain, Jerome D. Roscioli, Harry A. Frank, Warren F. Beck, Soumen Ghosh
It remains an open question whether quantum coherence and molecular excitons created by delocalization of electronic excited states are essential features of the mechanisms that enable efficient light capture and excitation energy transfer to reaction centers in photosynthetic organisms. The peridinin–chlorophyll a protein from marine dinoflagellates is an example of a light-harvesting system with tightly clustered antenna chromophores in which quantum coherence has long been suspected, but unusually it features the carotenoid peridinin as the principal light absorber for mid-visible photons. We report that broad-band two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy indeed reveals the initial presence of exciton relaxation pathways that enable transfer of excitation from peridinin to chlorophyll a in <20 fs, but the quantum coherence that permits this is very short-lived. Strongly coupled excited-state vibrational distortions of the peridinins trigger a dynamic transition of the electronic structure of the system and a rapid conversion to incoherent energy transfer mechanisms.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01791

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01791

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