Biomolecules and nanostructures
The Optical Sciences group studies the interaction of light and matter at the nanoscale.
We do this by exploring ways to shape light and its environment. It's what we call
active and passive control. Our current focus is on the interaction of light with
biomolecules and nanostructures. We are part of Twente
University's Department of Science and Technology and member of the
Quantum control of energy flow in light harvesting
Herek JL, Wohlleben W, Cogdell RJ, Zeidler D, Motzkus M
vol. 417 issue 6888 p.533-535 MAY 30 2002
Coherent light sources have been widely used in control schemes that exploit quantum interference effects to direct the outcome of photochemical processes. The adaptive shaping of laser pulses is a particularly powerful tool in this context: experimental output as feedback in an iterative learning loop refines the applied laser field to render it best suited to constraints set by the experimenter(1,2). This approach has been experimentally implemented to control a variety of processes(3-9), but the extent to which coherent excitation can also be used to direct the dynamics of complex molecular systems in a condensed-phase environment remains unclear. Here we report feedback-optimized coherent control over the energy-flow pathways in the light-harvesting antenna complex LH2 from Rhodopseudomonas acidophila, a photosynthetic purple bacterium. We show that phases imprinted by the light field mediate the branching ratio of energy transfer between intra- and intermolecular channels in the complex's donor-acceptor system. This result illustrates that molecular complexity need not prevent coherent control, which can thus be extended to probe and affect biological functions.