Greg Scholes, University of Toronto; Physical Chemistry Seminar

June 27, 2013 - 01:00 PM

Prof. Gregory Scholes

University of Toronto


Functional novelties employed in light harvesting by diverse photosynthetic systems




Photosynthetic light harvesting complexes are sophisticated multichromophoric assemblies used to regulate and concentrate photo-excitations for delivery to reaction centers under wide-ranging incident irradiances [1]. They provide wonderful model systems for the study of energy transfer mechanisms in well-defined structures [2]. I will describe a few examples of ultrafast energy transfer in photosynthetic light harvesting, including the incredible use of nominally dark higher excited states of carotenoids to distribute excitation energy in LH2 from purple bacteria [3]. I will address the current status and issues regarding coherent ultrafast energy transfer in light harvesting complexes of cryptophyte algae.


[1] G. D. Scholes, T. Mirkovic, D. B. Turner, F. Fassioli and A. Buchleitner “Solar light harvesting by energy transfer: From ecology to quantum mechanics” Energy Environ. Sci. 5, 9374–9393 (2012).

[2] G. D. Scholes, G. R. Fleming, A. Olaya-Castro and R. van Grondelle, “Lessons from nature about solar light harvesting” Nature Chem. 3, 763–774 (2011).

[3] E. E. Ostroumov, R. M. Mulvaney, R. J. Cogdell, G. D. Scholes, “Broadband 2D Spectroscopy Reveals a Carotenoid Dark State in Purple Bacteria”, Science 340, 52–56 (2013).


Lynch Lecture Hall

Department of Chemistry

231 S. 34 Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323

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