Optical Sciences

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 MESA+ institute.
We participate in the EU-COST actions MP1102: Coherent Raman microscopy (MicroCor) and CM1202: Supramolecular photocatalytic water splitting (PERSPECT-H2O)


Ultrafast energy transfer dynamics of a bioinspired dyad molecule

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Janne Savolainen, Niels Dijkhuizen, Riccardo Fanciulli, Paul A. Liddell, Devens Gust, Thomas A. Moore, Ana L. Moore, Jrgen Hauer, Tiago Buckup, Marcus Motzkus, and Jennifer L. Herek
Journal of Physical Chemistry B
vol. 112 issue 9 p2678-2685 march 6,2008

A caroteno-purpurin dyad molecule was studied by steady-state and pump-probe spectroscopies to resolve the excited-state deactivation dynamics of the different energy levels as well as the connecting energy flow pathways and corresponding rate constants. The data were analyzed with a two-step multi-parameter global fitting procedure that makes use of an evolutionary algorithm. We found that following ultrafast excitation of the donor (carotenoid) chromophore to its S-2 State, the energy flows via two channels: energy transfer (70%) and internal conversion (30%) with time constants of 54 and 110 fs, respectively. Additionally, some of the initial excitation is found to populate the hot ground state, revealing another limitation to the functional efficiency. At later times, a back transfer occurs from the purpurin to the carotenoid triplet state in nanosecond timescales. Details of the energy flow within the dyad as well as species associated spectra are disentangled for all excited-state and ground-state species for the first time. We also observe oscillations with the most pronounced peak on the Fourier transform spectrum having a frequency of 530 cm(-1). The dyad mimics the dynamics of the natural light-harvesting complex LH2 from Rhodopseudomonas acidophila and is hence a good model system to be used in studies aimed to further explain previous work in which the branching ratio between the competing pathways of energy loss and energy transfer could be manipulated by adaptive femtosecond pulse shaping.
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