Photosynthetic Energy Transfer at the Quantum/Classical Border

Nir Keren*, Yossi Paltiel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Quantum mechanics diverges from the classical description of our world when very small scales or very fast processes are involved. Unlike classical mechanics, quantum effects cannot be easily related to our everyday experience and are often counterintuitive to us. Nevertheless, the dimensions and time scales of the photosynthetic energy transfer processes puts them close to the quantum/classical border, bringing them into the range of measurable quantum effects. Here we review recent advances in the field and suggest that photosynthetic processes can take advantage of the sensitivity of quantum effects to the environmental ‘noise’ as means of tuning exciton energy transfer efficiency. If true, this design principle could be a base for ‘nontrivial’ coherent wave property nano-devices.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)497-506
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Photosynthesis
  • exciton energy transfer
  • light harvesting
  • quantum classical border
  • quantum coherence


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