Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 121, Issue 1, pp 61–68 | Cite as

Characterization of the intramolecular transfer state of marine carotenoid fucoxanthin by femtosecond pump–probe spectroscopy

Regular Paper


Fucoxanthin, containing a carbonyl group in conjugation with its polyene backbone, is a naturally occurring pigment in marine organisms and is essential to the photosynthetic light-harvesting function in brown alga and diatom. Fucoxanthin exhibits optical characteristics attributed to an intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) state that arises in polar environments due to the presence of the carbonyl group. In this study, we report the spectroscopic properties of fucoxanthin in methanol (polar and protic solvent) observed by femtosecond pump–probe measurements in the near-infrared region, where transient absorption associated with the optically allowed S2 (11B u + ) state and stimulated emission from the strongly coupled S1/ICT state were observed following one-photon excitation to the S2 state. The results showed that the amplitude of the stimulated emission of the S1/ICT state increased with decreasing excitation energy, demonstrating that the fucoxanthin form associated with the lower energy of the steady-state absorption exhibits stronger ICT character.


Photosynthesis Carotenoids Intramolecular charge transfer Marine algae 



This work was partially supported by Grant-in-Aids for Young Scientists (A) (No. 25707028) for DK and Scienctic Research on Inovative Areas “All Nippon Artificial photosynthesis Project for Living Earth (AnApple)” (No. 24107002) for HH from the Japan Society for the Promotion of science (JSPS). HH thanks the Human Frontier Science Program for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daisuke Kosumi
    • 1
  • Ritsuko Fujii
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mitsuru Sugisaki
    • 3
  • Naohiro Oka
    • 4
  • Masahiko Iha
    • 4
  • Hideki Hashimoto
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.The Osaka City University Advanced Research Institute for Natural Science and Technology (OCARINA)Sumiyoshi-kuJapan
  2. 2.JST/PRESTOKawaguchiJapan
  3. 3.Department of Physics, Graduate School of ScienceOsaka City UniversitySumiyoshi-kuJapan
  4. 4.South Product Co. LtdUruma-shiJapan

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