Origin of the S* excited state feature of carotenoids in light-harvesting complex 1 from purple photosynthetic bacteria

Dariusz M. Niedzwiedzki, David J.K. Swainsbury, Elizabeth C. Martin, C. Neil Hunter, Robert E. Blankenship

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This spectroscopic study investigates the origin of the transient feature of the S* excited state of carotenoids bound in LH1 complexes from purple bacteria. The studies were performed on two RC-LH1 complexes from Rba. sphaeroides strains that bound carotenoids with different carbon−carbon double bond conjugation N, neurosporene (N = 9) and spirilloxanthin (N = 13). The S* transient spectral feature, originally associated with an elusive and optically silent excited state of spirilloxanthin in the LH1 complex, may be successfully explained and mimicked without involving any unknown electronic state. The spectral and temporal characteristics of the S* feature suggest that it is associated with triplet−triplet annihilation of carotenoid triplets formed after direct excitation of the molecule via a singlet fission mechanism. Depending on pigment homogeneity and carotenoid assembly in the LH1 complex, the spectro-temporal component associated with triplet−triplet annihilation may simply resolve a pure T-S spectrum of a carotenoid. In some cases (like spirilloxanthin), the T-S feature will also be accompanied by a carotenoid Stark spectrum and/or residual transient absorption of minor carotenoid species bound into LH1 antenna complex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7571-7585
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2017

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