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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
First and foremost, we would like to thank Luca Turin for his unique ability to represent complex ideas in clear graphical form. We would also like to thank Gabriela Schlau-Cohen for the data presented in Box 5 ; Zvi Paltiel and Ronnie Kosloff for critical reading. This work was supported by the joint ISF-UGC grant ( 2733/16 ) awarded to N.K.
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd
- exciton energy transfer
- light harvesting
- quantum classical border
- quantum coherence