How quantum coherence assists photosynthetic light-harvesting

J. Strümpfer, M. Şener, K. Schulten

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This Perspective examines how hundreds of pigment molecules in purple bacteria cooperate through quantum coherence to achieve remarkable light-harvesting efficiency. Quantum coherent sharing of excitation, which modifies excited-state energy levels and combines transition dipole moments, enables rapid transfer of excitation over large distances. Purple bacteria exploit the resulting excitation transfer to engage many antenna proteins in light harvesting, thereby increasing the rate of photon absorption and energy conversion. We highlight here how quantum coherence comes about and plays a key role in the photosynthetic apparatus of purple bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-542
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 16 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'How quantum coherence assists photosynthetic light-harvesting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this