Plasmon induced modifications of the Förster energy transfer in reconstituted peridinin-chlorophyll-protein photosynthetic complex


In this work we investigate theoretically the effects imposed by plasmon excitations in spherical metallic nanoparticles (MNPs) on the rate of energy transfer in peridinin-chlorophyll-protein (PCP) complex reconstituted with both chlorophyll a (Chl a) and chlorophyll b (Chl b). This light-harvesting complex is unique since it features efficient energy transfer both from higher-lying Chl b to lower-lying Chl a as well as in the opposite, less energy-favorable direction. The results of calculations show that the Förster energy transfer rate decreases with a MNP-PCP distance changing from 2 to 14 nm, while the energy transfer from Chl a to Chl b remains less efficient at all distances. We conclude that plasmon excitations allow for controlling the energy transfer between Chls, as well as the excitation distribution between two spectrally distinguishable Chls within the reconstituted PCP complex.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1

    S. Mackowski, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 22, 193102 (2010).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    P. Anger, P. Bharadwaj and L. Novotny, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 113002 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    S. Mackowski, S. Wormke, A. J. Maier, T.H. Brotosudarmo, H. Harutyunyan, A. Hartschuh, A.O. Govorov, H. Scheer and C. Brauchle, Nano Lett. 8, 558 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    I. Carmeli, L. Lieberman, L. Kraversky, Z. Fan, A.O. Govorov, G. Markovich, and S. Richter, Nano Lett. 10 2010, 10 (6), 2069 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    I. Nabiev, A. Rakovich, A. Sukhanova, E. Lukashev, V. Zagidullin, V. Pachenko, Y.P. Rakovich, J.F. Donegan, A.B. Rubin and A.O. Govorov, Angew. Chemie Int. Ed. 49, 7217 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    F. Reil, U. Hohenester, J.R. Krenn and A. Leitner, Nano Lett. 8, 4128–4133 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    K. Ray, R. Badugu and J.R. Lakowicz, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128, 8998 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    F. J. Kleima, E. Hofmann, B. Gobets, I.H. van Stokkum, R. van Grondelle, K. Diederichs and H. van Amerongen, Biophys J. 78, 344 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    T. Polívka, T. Pascher and R.G. Hiller, Biophys J. 94, 3198 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    S. Wörmke, S. Mackowski, T. H. Brotosudarmo, C. Jung, A. Zumbusch, M. Ehrl, H. Scheer, E. Hofmann, R.G. Hiller and C. Bräuchle, BBA-Bioenergetics 1767, 956 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    S. Mackowski, S. Wormke, T.H. Brotosudarmo, C. Jung, R.G. Hiller, H. Scheer and C. Brauchle, Biophys. J. 93, 3249–3258 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    T.H. Brotosudarmo, E. Hofmann, R.G. Hiller, S. Wormke, S. Mackowski, A. Zumbusch, C. Brauchle and H. Scheer, FEBS Lett. 580, 52575262 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    E. Hofmann, P.M. Wrench, F.P. Sharples, R.G. Hiller, W. Welte and K. Diederichs, Science 272, 5269 (1996).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    D.J. Miller, J. Catmull, R. Puskeiler, H. Tweedale, F.P. Sharples and R.G. Hiller, Photosynth. Res. 86, 229 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    P. B. Johnson and R. W. Christy, Phys. Rev. B 6, 4370 (1972).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    P.L. Hernández-Martínez and A.O. Govorov, Phys. Rev. B 78, 035314 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    R. Ruppin, J. Chem. Phys. 76 (1982).

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    T. Förster, Ann. Physik 437, 55 (1948).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    M.K. Schmidt and S. Mackowski, Cent. Eur. J. Phys (submitted).

  20. 20

    J. D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics, 2nd ed. (Wiley, NewYork, 1975).

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    T. Polívka, T. Pascher, V. Sundström and R.G. Hiller, Photosynth. Res. 86, 217 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mikolaj K. Schmidt.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schmidt, M.K., Govorov, A.O. & Mackowski, S. Plasmon induced modifications of the Förster energy transfer in reconstituted peridinin-chlorophyll-protein photosynthetic complex. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1286, 324 (2010).

Download citation