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Séminaire général de l’INSP

Structure-Function-Motion-Quantum : Harnessing dissipative quantum dynamics for light-harvesting in biological and organic nanostructures - Alex Chin - Jeudi 22 juin 2017 à 16 h 30

INSP - UPMC - 4 place Jussieu - 75005 Paris - Barre 22-23, 3e étage, salle 317

Alex Chin - The Cavendish Laboratory - Cambridge University

Abstract

Pigment-protein complexes, the remarkable nanostructures used to harvest light in photosynthesis, employ self-assembling proteins to efficiently control and co-ordinate optoelectronic processes over a dynamical range that extends from femtoseconds to microseconds. Apart from rigidly holding photoactive cofactors with sub-nm precision in function-specific three-dimensional geometries, the scaffolding and active elements are also richly dynamic, with multi-scale spatio-temporal fluctuations that direct the dissipative « open » quantum dynamics of photosynthetic photon capture, energy transfer and charge separation. This talk will present results obtained from a wide variety of new theoretical techniques that elucidate the novel quantum dynamics that can appear in nanostructured molecular environments, which are characterised by the challenging physics of constantly evolving, non-equilibirum environments ; strong environmental back-action ; spatial correlations and memory effects. From the study of these complex dynamics, examples will be given of how ideas from quantum photosynthesis have already impacted fields such as organic photovoltaics and are inspiring the design of both theoretical and experimental « devices » that demonstrate and/or explore the potential use of quantum effects in next-generation energy harvesting materials.