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Plants and bacteria can capture the energy of sunlight with light-harvesting antennas and transfer it to a reaction center. Transporting energy efficiently and in a targeted fashion in a minimum of space is also of interest to engineers. If they were to master as well as microorganisms, they could significantly improve photovoltaics and optoelectronics.
But how can the flow of energy be observed? Tobias Brixner's group at the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry at Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany, are considering this problem.
Nature - Communications - Team - Spectroscopic - Methods
In the journal Nature Communications, the team now presents two new spectroscopic methods with which energy transport on the nanoscale can be observed. According to the JMU professor, the new findings provide valuable information for the design of artificial light-harvesting antennas.
These research successes were achieved in cooperation with the working groups of Christoph Lambert and Todd Marder (JMU Würzburg), Uwe Bunz and Andreas Dreuw (University of Heidelberg) as well as Jasper Knoester and Maxim Pshenichnikov (University of Groningen, Netherlands).
Methods - Research - Teams - Energy - Transport
Using the new methods, the research teams have succeeded in deciphering the energy transport in double-walled nanotubes made up of thousands of dye molecules. These tiny tubes serve as models for the light-harvesting antennas of photosynthetically active bacteria.
At low light intensities, the energetic excitations are transported from the outer to the...
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