Infrared Signatures of Phycobilins within the Phycocyanin 645 Complex

Partha Pratim Roy, Cristina Leonardo, Kaydren Orcutt, Catrina Oberg, Gregory D. Scholes, Graham R. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aquatic photosynthetic organisms evolved to use a variety of light frequencies to perform photosynthesis. Phycobiliprotein phycocyanin 645 (PC645) is a light-harvesting complex in cryptophyte algae able to transfer the absorbed green solar light to other antennas with over 99% efficiency. The infrared signatures of the phycobilin pigments embedded in PC645 are difficult to access and could provide useful information to understand the mechanism behind the high efficiency of energy transfer in PC645. We use visible-pump IR-probe and two-dimensional electronic vibrational spectroscopy to study the dynamical evolution and assign the fingerprint mid-infrared signatures to each pigment in PC645. Here, we report the pigment-specific vibrational markers that enable us to track the spatial flow of excitation energy between the phycobilin pigment pairs. We speculate that two high-frequency modes (1588 and 1596 cm-1) are involved in the vibronic coupling leading to fast (<ps) and direct energy transfer from the highest to lowest exciton, bypassing the intermediate excitons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4460-4469
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 25 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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