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Quantum mechanics in the heart of photosynthesis: exciton delocalization for robust and efficient light harvesting in noisy environment



RNDr. Pavel Malý, Ph.D.

(University of Würzburg, Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry)

Natural photosynthesis begins with the absorption of sunlight, followed by a rapid energy transfer and charge separation. These primary photosynthetic processes facilitate highly efficient conversion of solar energy into an electrochemical potential gradient across the photosynthetic membrane, providing the driving force for synthesis of energetically rich compounds. They take place in specially built light-harvesting and reaction centre pigment-protein complexes.
In my talk I will review the physical mechanisms of the primary processes, taking place at the ever-changing border of quantum and classical worlds. Using ultrafast nonlinear and single-molecule laser spectroscopy, we study how the photosynthetic complexes perform their function in the omnipresent noise and disorder. We find that not only do quantum effects such as excitation delocalization survive, but in part it is actually them that enable the superb photosynthetic function.

CV of the speaker HERE.

Invitation to the talk HERE.

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