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Communication: Coherences observed in vivo
in photosynthetic bacteria using two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy
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65. The term “long-lived” is ambiguous. In this manuscript, a long-lived coherence is one that persists on the same time scale as that of energy transfer in the system under study.
66. Room temperature dephasing rates prevent attribution of the coherences by isotopic substitution, but we chose to present the data because they show the reproducibility of the dynamics across samples.
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Energy transfer through large disordered antenna networks in photosynthetic organisms can occur with a quantum efficiency of nearly 100%. This energy transfer is facilitated by the electronic structure of the photosynthetic antennae as well as interactions between electronic states and the surrounding environment. Coherences in time-domain spectroscopy provide a fine probe of how a system interacts with its surroundings. In two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy, coherences can appear on both the ground and excited state surfaces revealing detailed information regarding electronic structure, system-bath coupling, energy transfer, and energetic coupling in complex chemical systems. Numerous studies have revealed coherences in isolated photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes, but these coherences have not been observed in vivo due to the small amplitude of these signals and the intense scatter from whole cells. Here, we present data acquired using ultrafast video-acquisition gradient-assisted photon echo spectroscopy to observe quantum beating signals from coherences in vivo. Experiments were conducted on isolated light harvesting complex II (LH2) from Rhodobacter sphaeroides, whole cells of R. sphaeroides, and whole cells of R. sphaeroides
grown in 30% deuterated media. A vibronic coherence was observed following laser excitation at ambient temperature between the B850 and the B850∗ states of LH2 in each of the 3 samples with a lifetime of ∼40-60 fs.
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