Physical principles of efficient excitation transfer in light harvesting

Melih K. Şener, Klaus Schulten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


After light absorption the primary process in light harvesting is the transfer of excitation to a reaction center which facilitates a separation of charge across a cell membrane. The physical principles underlying excitation transfer are explained. Theoretical methods for the description of the excitation migration process, including an expansion for excitation lifetime in terms of repeated trapping and subsequent detrapping events, and the construction of representative pathways for excitation transfer based on mean first passage times, are presented. Measures for robustness and optimality of excitation transfer in terms of quantum yield are introduced. Photosystem I (PSI) is used as an example to illustrate the methods discussed. Some conclusions for the design of artificial light harvesting systems are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnergy Harvesting Materials
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9789812700957
ISBN (Print)9789812564122
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Excitation transfer
  • Mean first passage times
  • Optimality
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosystem I
  • Quantum yield
  • Robustness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Physical principles of efficient excitation transfer in light harvesting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this