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Smart photosynthesis: Recycling of excitation energy dissipated as heat

March 3, 2021 , 13:00 14:00

Speaker: Prof. Wiesław I. Gruszecki
Affiliation: Department of Biophysics, Institute of Physics, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland

Virtually all life on our planet is powered by the energy of sunlight captured by photosynthetic organisms that convert this energy into forms that can be directly used to drive biochemical reactions. Despite the high efficiency of capturing light quanta, the energy conversion yield of photosynthesis is relatively low and is only a few percent. One of the reasons for this is the thermal dissipation of the excitation energy to protect the photosynthetic apparatus against photodegradation. It turns out that, depending on the current illumination conditions, plants are able to capture a fraction of the thermal energy and direct it back to the photochemical reaction pathways [1]. This “exciting” phenomenon will be presented and discussed.

[1] M. Zubik, R. Luchowski, D. Kluczyk, W. Grudzinski, M. Maksim, A. Nosalewicz, and W. I. Gruszecki, „Recycling of Energy Dissipated as Heat Accounts for High Activity of Photosystem II”, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2020, 11, 3242–3248.

Seminar language: English