Strong antenna-enhanced fluorescence of a single light-harvesting complex shows photon antibunching

Wientjes, E., Renger, J., Curto, A. G., Cogdell, R. and van Hulst, N. F. (2014) Strong antenna-enhanced fluorescence of a single light-harvesting complex shows photon antibunching. Nature Communications, 5, 4236. (doi:10.1038/ncomms5236) (PMID:24953833) (PMCID:PMC4083440)

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Abstract

The nature of the highly efficient energy transfer in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes is a subject of intense research. Unfortunately, the low fluorescence efficiency and limited photostability hampers the study of individual light-harvesting complexes at ambient conditions. Here we demonstrate an over 500-fold fluorescence enhancement of light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) at the single-molecule level by coupling to a gold nanoantenna. The resonant antenna produces an excitation enhancement of circa 100 times and a fluorescence lifetime shortening to ~\n20 ps. The radiative rate enhancement results in a 5.5-fold-improved fluorescence quantum efficiency. Exploiting the unique brightness, we have recorded the first photon antibunching of a single light-harvesting complex under ambient conditions, showing that the 27 bacteriochlorophylls coordinated by LH2 act as a non-classical single-photon emitter. The presented bright antenna-enhanced LH2 emission is a highly promising system to study energy transfer and the role of quantum coherence at the level of single complexes.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cogdell, Professor Richard
Authors: Wientjes, E., Renger, J., Curto, A. G., Cogdell, R., and van Hulst, N. F.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1934-578X
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 5:4236
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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