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Molecules 2015, 20(8), 15224-15272; doi:10.3390/molecules200815224

Optimal Energy Transfer in Light-Harvesting Systems

Division of Materials Science, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue,Singapore 639798, Singapore
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Academic Editor: Pall Thordarson
Received: 22 June 2015 / Revised: 3 August 2015 / Accepted: 14 August 2015 / Published: 20 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Light-Harvesting Complexes)
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Abstract

Photosynthesis is one of the most essential biological processes in which specialized pigment-protein complexes absorb solar photons, and with a remarkably high efficiency, guide the photo-induced excitation energy toward the reaction center to subsequently trigger its conversion to chemical energy. In this work, we review the principles of optimal energy transfer in various natural and artificial light harvesting systems. We begin by presenting the guiding principles for optimizing the energy transfer efficiency in systems connected to dissipative environments, with particular attention paid to the potential role of quantum coherence in light harvesting systems. We will comment briefly on photo-protective mechanisms in natural systems that ensure optimal functionality under varying ambient conditions. For completeness, we will also present an overview of the charge separation and electron transfer pathways in reaction centers. Finally, recent theoretical and experimental progress on excitation energy transfer, charge separation, and charge transport in artificial light harvesting systems is delineated, with organic solar cells taken as prime examples. View Full-Text
Keywords: optimal energy transfer; natural and artificial light harvesting systems; quantum coherence; non-photochemical quenching; charge separation optimal energy transfer; natural and artificial light harvesting systems; quantum coherence; non-photochemical quenching; charge separation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chen, L.; Shenai, P.; Zheng, F.; Somoza, A.; Zhao, Y. Optimal Energy Transfer in Light-Harvesting Systems. Molecules 2015, 20, 15224-15272.

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