University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > CQIF Seminar > Electronic coherence and recoherence in pigment protein complexes: The fundamental role of non-equilibrium vibrational structures

Electronic coherence and recoherence in pigment protein complexes: The fundamental role of non-equilibrium vibrational structures

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Recent observations of oscillatory features in the optical response of photosynthetic complexes have revealed evidence for surprisingly long-lasting electronic coherences which can coexist with energy transport. These observations have ignited multidisciplinary interest in the possible role of quantum effects in biological systems, including the fundamental – though still unresolved – question of how electronic coherence can survive in biological surroundings. Here we show that in photosynthetic complexes, non-trivial spectral structures in environmental fluctuations can allow for non-equilibrium processes that lead to the spontaneous generation and sustenance of electronic coherence even at physiological temperatures. Developing advanced new simulation tools to treat these effects, this new insight provides a firm microscopic basis to successfully reproduce the experimentally observed coherence times in the Fenna-Matthews-Olson complex, and thus sets the ground for the future assessment of the role of quantum effects in photosynthetic light harvesting efficiency.

This talk is part of the CQIF Seminar series.

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