Applied Magnetic Resonance

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 101–134 | Cite as

The transient EPR spectra and spin dynamics of coupled three-spin systems in photosynthetic reaction centres

  • K. M. Salikhov
  • A. J. van der Est
  • D. Stehlik


The concept of introducing an additional, stable paramagnetic species into photosynthetic reaction centres to increase the information content of their spin polarized transient EPR spectra is investigated theoretically. The light-induced electron transfer in such systems generates a series of coupled three-spin states consisting of sequential photoinduced radical pairs coupled to the stable spin which acts as an “observer”. The spin polarized transient EPR spectra are investigated using the coupled three-spin system P+IQ A in pre-reduced bacterial reaction centres as a specific example which has been studied experimentally. The evolution of the spin system and the spin polarized EPR spectra of P+IQ A and Q A following recombination of the radical pair (P = primary donor, I = primary acceptor, QA = quinone acceptor) are calculated numerically by solving the equations of motion for the density matrix. The net polarization of the observer spin is also calculated analytically by perturbation theory for the case of a single, short-lived, charge-separated state. The result bears a close resemblance to the chemically induced nuclear polarization (CIDNP) generated in photolysis reactions in which a nuclear spin plays the role of the observer interacting with the radical pair intermediates. However, because the Zeeman frequencies of the three electron spins involved are usually quite similar, the polarization of the electron observer spin in strong magnetic fields can reflect features of the CIDNP effect in both, high and low magnetic fields. The dependence of the quinone spin polarization on the exchange couplings in the three-spin system is investigated by numerical simulations, and it is shown that the observed emissive polarization pattern is compatible with either sign, positive or negative, for a range of exchange couplings, JPI, in the primary pair. The microwave frequency and orientation dependence of the spectra are discussed as two of several possible criteria for determining the sign of JPI.


Spin Polarization Polarization Pattern Chemically Induce Dynamic Nuclear Polarization Observer Spin Zeeman Frequency 
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Copyright information

© Springer 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. M. Salikhov
    • 1
  • A. J. van der Est
    • 2
  • D. Stehlik
    • 2
  1. 1.Kazan Physical-Technical InstituteKazanRussian Federation
  2. 2.Fachbereich PhysikFreie UniversitätBerlinGermany

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