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Modeling of Photosynthesis on the Basis of Supramolecular Systems


Modeling of Primary Stages of Photosynthesis on the Basis of Nano-Sized Supramolecular Systems

Tech Area / Field

  • NNE-SOL/Solar Energy/Non-Nuclear Energy

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Drozdova E I

Leading Institute
Russian Academy of Sciences / Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk\nInstitute of General Physics named after A.M. Prokhorov RAS, Russia, Moscow


  • Universidad Autonoma de Madrid / Department of Organic Chemistry, Spain, Madrid\nGraz University of Technology / Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Austria, Graz

Project summary

The project is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of solar energy transformation in systems, constructed on principles of a functional model of photosynthesis’s primary stages with the use of organic pigments. With that end in view, a complex study will be carried out of the photoelectrochemical properties of nano-sized supramolecular systems of various structure and composition, that appear in mono- and multi-layers of pigments, pigment-protein complexes, and components of the photosynthetic apparatus of plants. The study’s results will enable the creation of a more effective model of photosynthesis’s primary processes, the optimization of which will significantly increase the efficiency of light energy conversion in the systems which are being studied.

Preliminary computer simulations of experiments with calculation of processes in structural units (molecules, supramolecules, nano-sized clusters) of the functional model of photosynthesis is one of the project’s features. Our experience of calculations shows reliability of predictions of electron density distribution in complex ensembles, taking into account long-range interaction of pigment molecules and stereometric changes in their structure in the process of self-assembling. A bathochromic shift and broadening of a converter’s action spectrum are expected owing to increased intermolecular interaction in multicomponent systems, and a significant rise in photon-electron conversion efficiency is expected as a result of synergetic interaction in the generated supramolecular complexes.

Photoelectrochemical properties of single-component thin pigment films of tetrapyrrol compounds will be compared with those in corresponding multi-component systems, made by introducing structure-forming compounds, donor-acceptor ligatures and sensitizing dyes, in the process of construction of the functional model of photosynthesis’s primary stages.

Pigment films will be placed on inert and conducting substrates by Langmuir-Schaefer and Langmuir-Blodgett methods, varying the surface pressure of the transferred monolayer and the total number of transferred monolayers. The films’ structure and properties will be controlled by standard methods of spectroscopy, atomic-force microscopy, methods of plasmon resonance and second optic harmonic generation. Photovoltaic parameters will be registered on original computerized setups with parallel mathematical treatment and simultaneous registration of the photopotential (photocurrent) and surface plasmon waves in real time. That will allow getting additional information about the dynamics of processes in pigment film at the electrode-pigment-electrolyte interface. New methods of depositing pigment films on conducting substrates, based on gas-dynamic effect, will be studied and applied also in making electrode systems.

A complex study of pigment films and their multi-component supramolecular derivatives will allow us to expand our knowledge about intermolecular and interlayer interaction in the process of developing and functioning of nano-sized pigment aggregates, their photoelectrochemical properties, and about the influence of the substrate nature on the films’ structure and properties.

The project team has many years' experience in the field of photoelectrochemical transformation of light energy, the research of photovoltaic, spectral, nonlinear optical properties of thin films (including Langmuir ones) of various pigments, biological macromolecules, as well as in the field of computer simulations of atomic and molecular processes. Investigations are carried out on unique setups, that ensure the highest possible comprehension of measurements, and have no analogues in scientific literature. Approaches to formation of complex molecular ensembles in Langmuir films have been developed, including ones with biological macromolecules that allow to obtain systems with the required optical and structural parameters. Computer modeling is actively applied in the design of experiments and analyzing results. This experience means that the project team can be assured of successful performance of the assigned tasks.


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