A schematic model for energy and charge transfer in the chlorophyll complex

Henrik Bohr, F.B. Malik

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A theory for simultaneous charge and energy transfer in the carotenoid-chlorophyll-a complex is presented here and discussed. The observed charge transfer process in these chloroplast complexes is reasonably explained in terms of this theory. In addition, the process leads to a mechanism to drive an electron in a lower to a higher-energy state, thus providing a mechanism for the ejection of the electron to a nearby molecule (chlorophyll) or into the environment. The observed lifetimes of the electronically excited states are in accord/agreement with the investigations of Sundström et al. and are in the range of pico-seconds and less. The change in electronic charge distribution in internuclear space as the system undergoes an electronic transition to a higher-energy state could, under appropriate physical conditions, lead to oscillating dipoles capable of transmitting energy from the carotenoid-chlorophylls chromophore to the reaction center by sending an electromagnetic wave (a photon) which provides a novel new mechanism for energy production. In the simplest version of the Förster–Dexter theory, the excitation energy of a donor is transferred to an acceptor and then de-excited to the ground state by fluorescence with no electron being transferred. In the process proposed herein, charge and energy both are transferred from donor to acceptor which can further de-excite by fluorescence. The charge transfer time scale involving an actual transfer of electron is in the pico-second range.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTheoretical Chemistry Accounts
Issue number4-6
Pages (from-to)1203-1210
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Chlorophyll
  • Fluorescence resonance energy transfer
  • Photosynthesis
  • Bio-Auger process


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