Quantum Coherence and non-Markovianity in Photosynthesis

Experimental evidences of long-lasting quantum coherence in the excitation energy transfer (EET) through photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes (such as FMO complex) have been reported since 2008 [1-4]. These observations together with the some other unexpected quantum coherence related observations (magneto-reception in birds and olfactory sense) in biological systems [5] led to a quest for novel theoretical explanations of these observations. It is argued that existence of quantum coherent superposition of excitons in the EET can bring an explanation [5] [6]. However, in large and noisy systems, coherence cannot live long. Yet this still can be explained by an interplay of non-Markovianity, open system quantum dynamics, and quantum coherence [7]. In our project, we are aiming to approach these observations in natural photosynthesis by realistic energy transfer models taking into account memory effects in the environment and quantum coherence; and then by following a bio-mimetic approach, we will propose efficient artificial photosynthesis systems. Intriguingly, our results could have broader scope as it is related to the interplay of quantum information and energy in non-Markovian open systems dynamics and could impact information storage and manipulation ways for quantum communication and computations.

References