Artificial quantum photosynthetic materials



Photosynthesis has been shown to be a highly efficient process for energy transfer in plants and bacteria. It has been proposed that quantum mechanics plays a key role in this energy transfer process. There has been evidence that photosynthetic systems may exhibit quantum coherence. As artificial light-harvesting complexes have been proposed to mimic photosynthesis, it is prudent that artificial photosynthetic materials should also be tested for quantum coherence. To date, such studies have not been reported. In this work, we examine one such system, the BODIPY light harvesting complex (LHC), which has been shown to exhibit classical energy transfer via Förster resonance energy transfer. We compare the photon absorption of the LHC with the BODIPY chromophore by performing UV-visible, transient absorption, broadband pump-probe (BBPP) and two-dimensional electronic (2DES) spectroscopy. The 2DES and BBPP show evidence for quantum coherence, with oscillation frequencies of 100 cm-1 and 600 cm-1, which are attributable to vibronic, or exciton-phonon type coupling. Further computational analysis suggests strong couplings of the molecular orbitals of the LHC resulting from the stacking of neighbouring BODIPY chromophore units may contribute to undesirable hypochromic effects .


Supplementary material

Supplementary Information
Supporting information for synthesis and experimental data
Two-dimensional electronic spectroscopic analysis
2DES of the LHC. The left, central, and right columns show the real parts, imaginary parts, and magnitude of the complex matrices, respectively. The central and bottom rows are the separate rephasing and nonrephasing components, with the top row showing their sum total. The upper-left panel is therefore the total-real, and represents the absorptive signal from the sample.