Quantum-coherent electronic energy transfer: Did nature think of it first?

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Recent research suggests that electronic energy transfer in complex biological and chemical systems can involve quantum coherence, even at ambient temperature conditions. It is particularly notable that this phenomenon has been found in some photosynthetic proteins. The role of these proteins in photosynthesis is introduced. The meaning of quantum-coherent energy transfer is explained, and it is compared to Forster energy transfer. Broad, interdisciplinary questions for future work are noted. For example, how can chemists use quantum coherence in synthetic systems (perhaps in organic photovoltaics)? Why did certain photosynthetic organisms evolve to use quantum coherence in light harvesting? Are these electronic excitations entangled?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-8
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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