Vibration-assisted resonance in photosynthetic excitation-energy transfer

E.K. Irish, R. Gómez-Bombarelli, B.W. Lovett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding how the effectiveness of natural photosynthetic energy-harvesting systems arises from the interplay between quantum coherence and environmental noise represents a significant challenge for quantum theory. Recently it has begun to be appreciated that discrete molecular vibrational modes may play an important role in the dynamics of such systems. Here we present a microscopic mechanism by which intramolecular vibrations may be able to contribute to the efficiency and directionality of energy transfer. Excited vibrational states create resonant pathways through the system, supporting fast and efficient energy transport. Vibrational damping together with the natural downhill arrangement of molecular energy levels gives intrinsic directionality to the energy flow. Analytical and numerical results demonstrate a significant enhancement of the efficiency and directionality of energy transport that can be directly related to the existence of resonances between vibrational and excitonic levels.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review. A, Atomic, molecular, and optical physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Vibration-assisted resonance in photosynthetic excitation-energy transfer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this