Protochlorophyllide (Pchlide) is a natural porphyrin, a precursor of chlorophyll, synthesized by plants for its photosynthetic apparatus. The pigment spontaneously forms aggregates when dissolved in neat water solution. We present here calculations of the transient absorption spectra and its comprising components (ground-state bleach, stimulated emission, and excited-state absorption) for a strongly excitonically coupled linear chain of four Pchlide chromophores, using exciton theory with phenomenological Gaussian line shapes and without energetic disorder. A refined multiexciton model that includes static disorder is applied to fit the experimental power-dependent transient absorption spectra of aqueous protochlorophyllide and the kinetics for delay times up to 20 ps after photoexcitation. We show that population up to the 4-exciton manifold is sufficient to explain the pronounced saturation of the bleaching and the shape changes in the instantaneous, t = 0.2 ps transient spectra when the pulse energy is increased from 10 to 430 nJ per pulse. The decay of the multiexciton manifold is relatively slow and is preceded by a spectroscopically distinct process. We suggest that the exciton states in the Pchlide aggregates are mixed with charge-transfer states (CTS) and that the population and repopulation of the CTS coupled to the exciton states explains the relatively slow decay of the multiexciton manifold. The relevance of our results to the optical properties and dynamics of natural photosynthetic complexes and the possible physical origin of CTS formation are discussed. © 2011 American Chemical Society.
Sytina, O., Novoderezhkin, V. I., van Grondelle, R., & Groot, M. L. (2011). Modeling of Multi-Exciton Transient Absorption Spectra of Protochlorophyllide Aggregates in Aqueous Solution. Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 115(43), 11944-11951. https://doi.org/10.1021/jp204395z