, Volume 102, Issue 2-3, pp 471-485
Date: 04 Aug 2009

Theory of excitation energy transfer: from structure to function

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Abstract

This mini-review summarizes our current theoretical knowledge about excitation energy transfer in pigment–protein complexes. The challenge for theory lies in the complexity of these systems and in the fact that the pigment–pigment and the pigment–protein interactions are of equal magnitude. The first part of this review contains an introduction to the theory of light harvesting and to structure-based calculations of the parameters of the theory. The second part provides a discussion of the standard Förster and Redfield theories of excitation energy transfer, which are valid in the limit of weak and strong pigment–pigment coupling, respectively. Afterward, we provide a description of recent extensions of the standard theories and discuss challenging problems to be solved in the future.