Phonon-Assisted Processes for Energy Transfer and .. (PAPETS)
Phonon-Assisted Processes for Energy Transfer and Sensing
Date du début: 1 sept. 2013,
Date de fin: 30 nov. 2016
There is mounting experimental and theoretical evidence that suggests that coherent electronic and vibrational dynamics are essential to understand physiological processes. This project addresses this newly emerging frontier between biology and quantum physics by aiming to determine the role of coherent vibrational dynamics in the efficiency of energy storage in natural and artificial light harvesting systems, as well as in odour recognition. Although these are at first sight two very different biological processes, in both cases their effectiveness is now believed to rely on phonon-assisted mechanisms. In fact, more generally, it is becoming increasingly clear that vibrational dynamics plays a key role in establishing the fundamental connection between structure and function of protein complexes. In this project we not only plan to experimentally demonstrate the crucial role of the phonon-assisted dynamics in facilitating efficient energy transfer in chromophoric complexes and odour recognition, but also to develop a general theoretical framework to describe and understand the role coherent vibrations play in the dynamics of biomolecular systems, as well as to develop methods to identify the presence and properties of such vibrations. Furthermore, we aim at controlling the vibrational dynamics for the development of efficient artificial light harvesting systems. To attain these goals we develop a truly multidisciplinary and original approach. The project will be developed in close collaboration between theorists and experimentalists, and is expected to yield an understanding of photosynthesis and olfaction at the most fundamental level, thus contributing in a unique way to such important challenges as the development of more efficient light harvesting technologies or artificial odour sensors. Furthermore, the understanding and control of environment-assisted coherent dynamics could potentially lead to new forms of robust quantum information processing in the future
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