Scientists from the University of Southampton, in collaboration with the Universities of Sheffield and Crete, have developed a new hybrid energy transfer system, which mimics the processes responsible for photosynthesis.
From photosynthesis to respiration, the processes of light absorption and its transfer into energy represent elementary and essential reactions that occur in any biological living system.
This energy transfer is known as Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET), a radiationless transmission of energy that occurs on the nanometer scale from a donor molecule to an acceptor molecule. The donor molecule is the dye or chromophore that initially absorbs the energy and the acceptor is the chromophore to which the energy is subsequently transferred without any molecular collision. However, FRET is a strongly distance dependent process which occurs over a scale of typically 1 to 10 nm.
In a new study, published in the journal Nature Materials, the researchers demonstrate an alternate non-radiative, intermolecular energy transfer that exploits the intermediating role of light confined in an optical cavity. The advantage of this new technique which exploits the formation of quantum states admixture of light and matter, is the length over which the interaction takes places, that is in fact, considerably longer than conventional FRET-type processes.
Co-author Dr Niccolo Somaschi, from the University of Southampton's Hybrid Photonics group (which is led by Professor Pavlos Lagoudakis, co-author of the paper), says: "The possibility to transfer energy over distances comparable to the wavelength of light has the potential to be of both fundamental and applied interest.
Our deep understanding of energy transfer elucidates the basic mechanisms behind the process of photosynthesis in biological systems and therefore gets us closer to the reproduction of fully synthetic systems which mimic biological functionalities.
At the fundamental level, the present work suggests that the coherent coupling of molecules may be directly involved in the energy transfer process which occurs in the photosynthesis.
"On the applied perspective instead, organic semiconductors continue to receive significant interest for application in optoelectronic devices, for example light-emitting or photovoltaic devices, in which performance is dependent on our ability to control the formation and transport of carriers in molecular systems."
The new device consists of an optical cavity made by two metallic mirrors which trap the photons in a confined environment where two different organic molecules reside in.
By engineering the spacing between the mirrors based on the optical properties of the organic materials, it is possible to create a new quantum state that is a combination of the trapped photons and the excited states in the molecules. The photon essentially "glues" together these quantum mechanical states, forming a new half-light half-matter particle, called polariton, which is responsible for the efficient transfer of energy from one material to the other.
Glenn Harris | Eurek Alert!
Laser sensor LAH-G1 - optical distance sensors with measurement value display
15.08.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH
Engineers find better way to detect nanoparticles
14.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences