The role of energy losses in photosynthetic light harvesting

T. P. J. Kruger, R. van Grondelle

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Photosynthesis operates at the bottom of the food chain to convert the energy of light into carbohydrates at a remarkable global rate of about 130 TW. Nonetheless, the overall photosynthetic process has a conversion efficiency of a few percent at best, significantly less than bottom-up photovoltaic cells. The primary photosynthetic steps, consisting of light harvesting and charge separation, are often presented as having near-unity quantum efficiency but this holds only true under ideal conditions. In this review, we discuss the importance of energy loss mechanisms to establish robustness in photosynthetic light harvesting. Thermal energy dissipation of light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) in different environments is investigated and the relationships and contrasts between concentration quenching of high pigment concentrations, photoprotection (non-photochemical quenching), quenching due to protein aggregation, and fluorescence blinking are discussed. The role of charge-transfer states in light harvesting and energy dissipation is highlighted and the importance of controlled protein structural disorder to switch the light-harvesting antennae between effective light harvesters and efficient energy quenchers is underscored. The main LHC of plants, LHCII, is used as a prime example.
Keywords
Original languageEnglish
Article number132001
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Volume50
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • solar energy
  • light harvesting
  • non-photochemical quenching
  • photosynthesis single molecule spectroscopy
  • fluorescence blinking
  • charge transfer

Cite this

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title = "The role of energy losses in photosynthetic light harvesting",
abstract = "Photosynthesis operates at the bottom of the food chain to convert the energy of light into carbohydrates at a remarkable global rate of about 130 TW. Nonetheless, the overall photosynthetic process has a conversion efficiency of a few percent at best, significantly less than bottom-up photovoltaic cells. The primary photosynthetic steps, consisting of light harvesting and charge separation, are often presented as having near-unity quantum efficiency but this holds only true under ideal conditions. In this review, we discuss the importance of energy loss mechanisms to establish robustness in photosynthetic light harvesting. Thermal energy dissipation of light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) in different environments is investigated and the relationships and contrasts between concentration quenching of high pigment concentrations, photoprotection (non-photochemical quenching), quenching due to protein aggregation, and fluorescence blinking are discussed. The role of charge-transfer states in light harvesting and energy dissipation is highlighted and the importance of controlled protein structural disorder to switch the light-harvesting antennae between effective light harvesters and efficient energy quenchers is underscored. The main LHC of plants, LHCII, is used as a prime example.Keywords",
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The role of energy losses in photosynthetic light harvesting. / Kruger, T. P. J.; van Grondelle, R.

In: Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Vol. 50, No. 13, 132001, 14.07.2017.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The role of energy losses in photosynthetic light harvesting

AU - Kruger, T. P. J.

AU - van Grondelle, R.

PY - 2017/7/14

Y1 - 2017/7/14

N2 - Photosynthesis operates at the bottom of the food chain to convert the energy of light into carbohydrates at a remarkable global rate of about 130 TW. Nonetheless, the overall photosynthetic process has a conversion efficiency of a few percent at best, significantly less than bottom-up photovoltaic cells. The primary photosynthetic steps, consisting of light harvesting and charge separation, are often presented as having near-unity quantum efficiency but this holds only true under ideal conditions. In this review, we discuss the importance of energy loss mechanisms to establish robustness in photosynthetic light harvesting. Thermal energy dissipation of light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) in different environments is investigated and the relationships and contrasts between concentration quenching of high pigment concentrations, photoprotection (non-photochemical quenching), quenching due to protein aggregation, and fluorescence blinking are discussed. The role of charge-transfer states in light harvesting and energy dissipation is highlighted and the importance of controlled protein structural disorder to switch the light-harvesting antennae between effective light harvesters and efficient energy quenchers is underscored. The main LHC of plants, LHCII, is used as a prime example.Keywords

AB - Photosynthesis operates at the bottom of the food chain to convert the energy of light into carbohydrates at a remarkable global rate of about 130 TW. Nonetheless, the overall photosynthetic process has a conversion efficiency of a few percent at best, significantly less than bottom-up photovoltaic cells. The primary photosynthetic steps, consisting of light harvesting and charge separation, are often presented as having near-unity quantum efficiency but this holds only true under ideal conditions. In this review, we discuss the importance of energy loss mechanisms to establish robustness in photosynthetic light harvesting. Thermal energy dissipation of light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) in different environments is investigated and the relationships and contrasts between concentration quenching of high pigment concentrations, photoprotection (non-photochemical quenching), quenching due to protein aggregation, and fluorescence blinking are discussed. The role of charge-transfer states in light harvesting and energy dissipation is highlighted and the importance of controlled protein structural disorder to switch the light-harvesting antennae between effective light harvesters and efficient energy quenchers is underscored. The main LHC of plants, LHCII, is used as a prime example.Keywords

KW - solar energy

KW - light harvesting

KW - non-photochemical quenching

KW - photosynthesis single molecule spectroscopy

KW - fluorescence blinking

KW - charge transfer

U2 - 10.1088/1361-6455/aa7583

DO - 10.1088/1361-6455/aa7583

M3 - Article

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JO - Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

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