Resonant Confinement of an Excitonic Polariton and Ultraefficient Light Harvest in Artificial Photosynthesis

Yong Cong Chen, Bo Song, Anthony J. Leggett, Ping Ao, Xiaomei Zhu

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We uncover a novel phenomenon from a recent artificial light-harvesting experiment [P.-Z. Chen et al., Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl. 55, 2759 (2016)ACIEAY0570-083310.1002/anie.201510503] on organic nanocrystals of self-assembled difluoroboron chromophores. A resonant confinement of a polariton under strong photon-exciton coupling is predicted to exist within the microcavity of the crystal's own natural boundaries. Moreover, the radiative energy of a localized exciton falls into the spectrum of confinement. Hence, in the experiment, the spontaneous emission of an excited pigment would undergo a two-step process. It should first decay to an excitonic polariton trapped by the cavity resonance. The intermediate polariton could then funnel the energy directly to a doped acceptor, leading to the over 90% transfer efficiency observed at less than 1/1000 acceptor/donor ratio. The proposed mechanism is supported by parameter-free analyses entirely based on experiment data. Our finding may imply possible polariton-mediated pathways for energy transfers in biological photosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number257402
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 27 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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