Energy transfer dynamics in light-harvesting assemblies templated by the tobacco mosaic virus coat protein

Ying-Zhong Ma, Rebekah A Miller, Graham R Fleming, Matthew B Francis
Journal of Physical Chemistry. B 2008 June 5, 112 (22): 6887-92
Picosecond time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy was used to characterize energy transfer between chromophores displayed on a rod assembly of tobacco mosaic virus coat protein. The incorporation of donor chromophores with broad and overlapping absorption and emission spectra creates an "antenna" with a large absorption cross section, which can convey excitation energy over large distances before transfer to an acceptor chromophore. The possibility for both donor-to-donor and donor-to-acceptor transfer results in complex kinetic behavior at any single wavelength. Thus, to describe the various pathways of energy transfer within this system accurately, a global lifetime analysis was performed to obtain decay associated spectra. We found the energy transfer from donor to acceptor chromophores occurs in 187 ps with an efficiency of 36%. A faster decay component of 70 ps was also observed from global lifetime analysis and is attributed to donor-to-donor transfer. Although more efficient three-chromophore systems have been demonstrated, a two-chromophore system was studied here to facilitate analysis.

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