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J Chem Phys. 2010 Aug 14;133(6):064510. doi: 10.1063/1.3458824.

Quantum oscillatory exciton migration in photosynthetic reaction centers.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine, 1102 Natural Sciences 2, Irvine, California 92697-2025, USA.


The harvesting of solar energy and its conversion to chemical energy is essential for all forms of life. The primary photon absorption, transport, and charge separation events, which trigger a chain of chemical reactions, take place in membrane-bound photosynthetic complexes. Whether quantum effects, stemming from entanglement of chromophores, persist in the energy transport at room temperature, despite the rapid decoherence effects caused by environment fluctuations, is under current active debate. If confirmed, these may explain the high efficiency of light harvesting and open up numerous applications to quantum computing and information processing. We present simulations of the photosynthetic reaction center of photosystem II that clearly establish oscillatory energy transport at room temperature originating from interference of quantum pathways. These signatures of quantum transport may be observed by two dimensional coherent optical spectroscopy.

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