Excitonic Structure and Charge Separation in the Heliobacterial Reaction Center Probed by Multispectral Multidimensional Spectroscopy

29 January 2021, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Photochemical reaction centers are the engines that drive photosynthesis. The reaction center from heliobacteria (HbRC) has been proposed to most closely resemble the common ancestor of photosynthetic reaction centers, motivating a detailed understanding of its structure-function relationship. The recent elucidation of the HbRC crystal structure motivates advanced spectroscopic studies of its excitonic structure and charge separation mechanism. We perform multispectral two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy of the HbRC and corresponding numerical simulations, resolving the electronic structure and testing and refining recent excitonic models. Through extensive examination of the kinetic data by lifetime density analysis and global target analysis, we reveal that charge separation proceeds via a single pathway in which the distinct A0 chlorophyll a pigment is the primary electron acceptor. In addition, we find strong delocalization of the initial excited state and charge separation intermediate. Our findings have general implications for the understanding of photosynthetic charge separation mechanisms, and how they might be tuned to achieve different functional goals.


Ultrafast spectroscopy
charge separation
excitonic structure


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.