Adapting the förster theory of energy transfer for modeling dynamics in aggregated molecular assemblies

Gregory D. Scholes, Xanthipe J. Jordanides, Graham R. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

216 Scopus citations


The remarkable efficiencies of solar energy conversion attained by photosynthetic organisms derive partly from the designs of the light-harvesting apparatuses. The strategy employed by nature is to capture sunlight over a wide spectral and spatial cross section in chromophore arrays, then funnel the energy to a trap (reaction center). Nature's blueprint has inspired the conception of a diversity of artificial light-harvesting antenna systems for applications in solar energy conversion or photonics. Despite numerous, wide-ranging studies, truly quantitative predictions for such multichromophoric assemblies are scarce because Förster theory in its standard form often seems to fail. We report here a new framework within which energy transfer in molecular assemblies can be modeled quantitatively using a generalization of Förster's theory. Our results show that the principles involved in optimization of energy transfer in confined molecular assemblies are not revealed in a simple way by the absorption and emission spectra because such spectra are insensitive to length scales on the order of molecular dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1640-1651
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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