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Davydov Splitting of Excitons in Cyclic Bacteriochlorophyll a Nanoaggregates of Bacterial Light-Harvesting Complexes between 4.5 and 263 K

Authors

  • Mihkel Pajusalu,

    1. Institute of Physics, Tartu University, Riia 142, Tartu 51014 (Estonia), Fax: (+372) 73 83 033
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  • Dr. Margus Rätsep,

    1. Institute of Physics, Tartu University, Riia 142, Tartu 51014 (Estonia), Fax: (+372) 73 83 033
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  • Dr. Gediminas Trinkunas,

    1. Center for Physical Sciences and Technology, Savanoriu 231, LT-02300 Vilnius (Lithuania)
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  • Prof. Arvi Freiberg

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Physics, Tartu University, Riia 142, Tartu 51014 (Estonia), Fax: (+372) 73 83 033
    2. Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Tartu University, Riia 23, Tartu 51010 (Estonia)
    • Institute of Physics, Tartu University, Riia 142, Tartu 51014 (Estonia), Fax: (+372) 73 83 033
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Abstract

The nature of electronic excitations created by photon absorption in the cyclic B850 aggregates of 18 bacteriochlorophyll molecules of LH2 antenna complexes of photosynthetic bacteria is studied over a broad temperature range using absorption, fluorescence, and fluorescence anisotropy spectra. The latter technique has been proved to be suitable for revealing the hidden structure of excitons in inhomogeneously broadened spectra of cyclic aggregates. A theoretical model that accounts for differences of absorbing excitons in undeformed and emitting exciton polarons in deformed antenna lattices is also developed. Only a slight decrease of the exciton bandwidth and exciton coupling energy with temperature is observed. Survival of excitons in the whole temperature span from cryogenic to nearly ambient temperatures strongly suggests that collective, coherent electronic excitations might play a role in the functional light-harvesting process taking place at physiological temperatures.

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