Noise-induced Förster resonant energy transfer between orthogonal dipoles in photoexcited molecules

P Nalbach, I Pugliesi, H Langhals, M Thorwart
Physical Review Letters 2012 May 25, 108 (21): 218302
We show that Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in an orthogonally arranged donor-acceptor pair can be induced by environmental noise, although direct transfer is prohibited. Environmental fluctuations break the strict orthogonal dipole arrangement and cause effective fluctuating excitonic interactions. Using a scaling argument, we show that interaction fluctuations are coupled to those of the energy levels and are strong enough to induce large FRET rates. This mechanism also explains the temperature dependence observed in a recent experiment on a perylene bisimide dyad and predicts a modified distance dependence as compared to standard Förster theory.

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