Measures and implications of electronic coherence in photosynthetic light-harvesting

Cathal Smyth, Francesca Fassioli, Gregory D. Scholes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


We review various methods for measuring delocalization in light-harvesting complexes. Direct relations between inverse participation ratios (IPRs) and entanglement measures are derived. The B850 ring from the LH2 complex in Rhodopseudomonas acidophila is studied. By analysing electronic energy transfer dynamics in the B850 ring using different metrics for quantifying excitonic delocalization, we conclude that measures of entanglement are far more robust (in terms of time scale, temperature and level of decoherence) than IPRs, and are therefore more appropriate for the purpose of studying the time evolution of coherence in a system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3728-3749
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1972
StatePublished - Aug 13 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Mathematics
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • B850
  • Delocalization
  • Electronic coherence
  • Electronic energy transfer
  • Entanglement
  • Photosynthesis


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