Mapping the spatial overlap of excitons in a photosynthetic complex via coherent nonlinear frequency generation
ABSTRACT We experimentally demonstrate a nonlinear spectroscopic method that is sensitive to exciton-exciton interactions in a Frenkel exciton system. Spatial overlap of one-exciton wavefunctions leads to coupling between them, resulting in two-exciton eigenstates that have the character of many single-exciton pairs. The mixed character of the two-exciton wavefunctions gives rise to a four-wave-mixing nonlinear frequency generation signal. When only part of the linear excitation spectrum of the complex is excited with three spectrally tailored pulses with separate spatial directions, a frequency-shifted third-order nonlinear signal emerges in the phase-matched direction. We employ the nonlinear response function formalism to show that the emergence of the signal is mediated by and carries information about the two-exciton eigenstates of the system. We report experimental results for nonlinear frequency generation in the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) photosynthetic pigment-protein complex. Our theoretical analysis of the signal from FMO confirms that the emergence of the frequency-shifted signal is due to the interaction of spatially overlapped excitons. In this method, the signal intensity is directly measured in the frequency domain and does not require scanning of pulse delays or signal phase retrieval. The wavefunctions of the two-exciton states contain information about the spatial overlap of excitons and can be helpful in identifying coupling strengths and relaxation pathways. We propose this method as a facile experimental means of studying exciton correlations in systems with complicated electronic structures.
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ABSTRACT: We present a novel experimental scheme for two-dimensional fluorescence-detected coherent spectroscopy (2D-FDCS) using a non-collinear beam geometry with the aid of "confocal imaging" of dynamic (population) grating and 27-step phase-cycling to extract the signal. This arrangement obviates the need for distinct experimental designs for previously developed transmission detected non-collinear two-dimensional coherent spectroscopy (2D-CS) and collinear 2D-FDCS. We also describe a novel method for absolute phasing of the 2D spectrum. We apply this method to record 2D spectra of a fluorescent dye in solution at room temperature and observe "spectral diffusion."The Journal of Chemical Physics 05/2014; 140(19):194201. DOI:10.1063/1.4874697 · 3.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Observations of long-lived coherences in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes utilize short pulses with broad spectral bandwidths to coherently excite multiple transitions and coherent superpositions. In order to identify the role that such quantum effects might play in efficient energy transfer, however, an alternative approach is required. We have developed a technique for two-color photon echo spectroscopy to selectively excite the pathway of interest and measure its evolution in the absence of any other excitation. We use this technique to excite a coherence pathway in phycocyanin-645 from cryptophyte algae and measure the dynamics of this coherence. A decoherence time of 500 fs was measured, and clear signatures for strong coupling between the electronic states and phonon modes were observed, allowing coherent coupling between otherwise nonresonant transitions. This provides detailed experimental evidence of the long-lived coherences and the nature of the quantum mechanical interactions between electronic states and phonon modes in phycocyanin-645 from cryptophyte marine algae.Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 01/2012; 3(2-2):272-277. DOI:10.1021/jz201600f · 6.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Photosynthetic units perform energy transfer remarkably well under a diverse range of demanding conditions. However, the mechanism of energy transfer, from excitation to conversion, is still not fully understood. Of particular interest is the possible role that coherence plays in this process. In this perspective, we overview photosynthetic light harvesting and discuss consequences of excitons for energy transfer and how delocalization can be assessed. We focus on challenges such as decoherence and nuclear-coordinate dependent delocalization. These approaches complement conventional spectroscopy and delocalization measurement techniques. New broadband transient absorption data may help uncover the difference between electronic and vibrational coherences present in two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy data. We describe how multipartite entanglement from quantum information theory allows us to formulate measures that elucidate the delocalization length of excitation and the details of that delocalization even from highly averaged information such as the density matrix.The Journal of Chemical Physics 03/2014; 140(11):110901. DOI:10.1063/1.4869329 · 3.12 Impact Factor