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Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 135, Issue 1–3, pp 55–64 | Cite as

Effects of tunable excitation in carotenoids explained by the vibrational energy relaxation approach

  • Vytautas BalevičiusJr
  • Craig N. Lincoln
  • Daniele Viola
  • Giulio Cerullo
  • Jürgen Hauer
  • Darius AbramaviciusEmail author
Original Article
  • 382 Downloads

Abstract

Carotenoids are fundamental building blocks of natural light harvesters with convoluted and ultrafast energy deactivation networks. In order to disentangle such complex relaxation dynamics, several studies focused on transient absorption measurements and their dependence on the pump wavelength. However, such findings are inconclusive and sometimes contradictory. In this study, we compare internal conversion dynamics in \(\beta\)-carotene, pumped at the first, second, and third vibronic progression peak. Instead of employing data fitting algorithms based on global analysis of the transient absorption spectra, we apply a fully quantum mechanical model to treat the high-frequency symmetric carbon–carbon (C=C and C–C) stretching modes explicitly. This model successfully describes observed population dynamics as well as spectral line shapes in their time-dependence and allows us to reach two conclusions: Firstly, the broadening of the induced absorption upon excess excitation is an effect of vibrational cooling in the first excited state (\(S_{1}\)). Secondly, the internal conversion rate between the second excited state (\(S_{2}\)) and \(S_{1}\) crucially depends on the relative curve displacement. The latter point serves as a new perspective on solvent- and excitation wavelength-dependent experiments and lifts contradictions between several studies found in literature.

Keywords

Internal conversion \(\beta\)-carotene Transient absorption spectroscopy Vibrational cooling 

Notes

Acknowledgements

V. B. acknowledges funding by the Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant RPG-2015-337. J. H. and C. N. L. acknowledge funding by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): START project Y 631-N27. D. A. acknowledges support by the Research Council of Lithuania (No MIP-090/2015). G. C. acknowledges support by the European Research Council Advanced Grant STRATUS (ERC-2011-AdG No. 291198). G. C. and J. H. acknowledge funding by Laserlab-Europe (EU-H2020 654148).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vytautas BalevičiusJr
    • 2
  • Craig N. Lincoln
    • 3
  • Daniele Viola
    • 4
  • Giulio Cerullo
    • 4
  • Jürgen Hauer
    • 3
  • Darius Abramavicius
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Theoretical PhysicsVilnius UniversityVilniusLithuania
  2. 2.School of Biological and Chemical SciencesQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Photonics InstituteTU WienViennaAustria
  4. 4.IFN-CNR, Dipartimento di FisicaPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

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