Masoud Mohseni (MIT)
During four billion years of evolution a variety of light-harvesting complexes have emerged that harvest solar energy as electronic excitation and efficiently transfer it to a reaction center where it is converted and stored in the form of biochemical energy. Today, the fundamental physical mechanisms of high energy transfer efficiency in such complexes are not yet fully understood. Notably, it is not known how optimal or robust are these systems for transporting energy considering their realistic interactions with the scaffold proteins and surrounding vibrational and radiative environments. In particular, it is not known whether it is necessary to include quantum dynamical effects into our formalisms to demonstrate efficiency of these systems and predict the outcomes of multi-dimensional ultrafast spectroscopic experiments. One major problem in studying light-harvesting complexes is the lack of an efficient method for simulation of their dynamics in biological environments. In this talk, I discuss a new approach for deriving a specific time non-local master equation to efficiently simulate these systems in the intermediate non-perturbative and non-Markovian regimes. I demonstrate that
energy transfer efficiency is optimal and robust for FMO protein complex of green sulphur bacteria with respect to variations in all the relevant environmental parameters. Furthermore, I discuss whether or not the FMO complex
structure is necessary for its performance and how probable is to randomly evolve into such particular geometry considering its rich parameter space.
Joint work with A. Shabani (Princeton), S. Lloyd (MIT), H. Rabitz (Princeton).