On the performance of a photosystem II reaction centre-based photocell

Richard Stones, Hoda Hossein-Nejad, Rienk van Grondelle, Alexandra Olaya-Castro

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The photosystem II reaction centre is the photosynthetic complex responsible for oxygen production on Earth. Its water splitting function is particularly favoured by the formation of a stable charge separated state via a pathway that starts at an accessory chlorophyll. Here we envision a photovoltaic device that places one of these complexes between electrodes and investigate how the mean current and its fluctuations depend on the microscopic interactions underlying charge separation in the pathway considered. Our results indicate that coupling to well resolved vibrational modes does not necessarily offer an advantage in terms of power output but can lead to photo-currents with suppressed noise levels characterizing a multi-step ordered transport process. Besides giving insight into the suitability of these complexes for molecular-scale photovoltaics, our work suggests a new possible biological function for the vibrational environment of photosynthetic reaction centres, namely, to reduce the intrinsic current noise for regulatory processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6871-6880
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Science
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

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