The mounting evidence of recent years regarding long-lived coherent dynamics of electronic excitations in several light-harvesting antenna proteins suggests the possibility of realizing and exploiting light-initiated quantum dynamics in synthetic molecular devices based on electronic energy transfer. Inspired by the field of molecular logic, we focus this discussion on the prospect of using quantum coherence to control the direction of energy flow in a molecular circuit. As a prototype system we consider a circuit consisting of three chromophores that deliver energy to two trap chromophores. Our aim is to control to which trap the energy is more likely to be delivered. This is achieved by switching one of the circuit chromophores ON and OFF from the system, such that the direction of energy flow substantially changes from the ON and OFF states of the circuit. We find that quantum coherence can allow a significant ability to direct energy transfer in the circuit. However, when realistic levels of noise are added, quantum coherence only slightly improves the ability to direct electronic energy in comparison to a classical hopping mechanism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry