Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The quantum physics of artificial light harvesting

13.07.2015

How molecular vibrations make photosynthesis efficient

Plants and bacteria make use of sunlight with remarkably high efficiency: nine out of ten absorbed light particles are being put to use in an ordinary bacterium.


Photosynthesis model system

TU Wien

For years, it has been a pressing question of modern research whether or not effects from quantum physics are responsible for this outstanding performance of natural light harvesters. A team of European research groups, a collaboration between universities in Vienna, Ulm, Cartagena, Prague, Berlin and Lund, have examined these quantum effects in an artificial model system.

It was shown that the hotly debated quantum phenomena can be understood as a delicate interplay between vibrations and electrons of the involved molecules. The resulting theoretical model explains the experiments perfectly. The article was published in Nature Communications.

The studied artificial light harvester is a supramolecule, consisting of hundreds of thousands of light absorbing molecules, arranged in close proximity to one another and in an orderly fashion.

Such architecture puts these systems in between noisy living cells and strictly organized quantum experiments at low temperatures: supramolecules are still governed by the same quantum effects as natural photosynthetic systems, but without the noisy background that makes their investigation so difficult in biological systems.

The research team employed polarized light to isolate the desired quantum-dynamical effects. Studying such ordered systems does not only further our understanding of natural photosynthesis, it also helps us to appreciate the physical mechanisms necessary for energy-efficient, cheaper, more flexible and lighter photovoltaic cells.

Weitere Informationen:

Article reference: „Vibronic origin of long-lived coherence in an artificial molecular light harvester”
Picture download: http://www.tuwien.ac.at/dle/pr/aktuelles/downloads/2015/photosynthese

Dr. Florian Aigner | Technische Universität Wien

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather
25.07.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht A new level of magnetic saturation
25.07.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>