The Academy of Sciences of the Czech rebublic - ASCR

The prestigious scientific journal Nature Chemistry published an article by Karel Žídek

The prestigious scientific journal Nature Chemistry published on May 21, 2018 an article by our colleague Karel Žídek. Nature Chemistry is a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal published by Nature Publishing Group.


Photosynthesis is an extremely important process which converts solar radiation into the energy of chemical bonds. Green plants and other organisms use this process and scientists have been trying to fully understand this process for over a hundred years.

Ultrafast spectroscopy is the unique tool in this respect because it can trace the movement of charged particles and energy in fabrics even over very short time scales (1 fs = 10-15 s). Thus, it is possible to trace the energy direction from the moment of absorption of the light (the photon) to the conversion of the absorbed energy into the energy of the chemical bond.
In the published article, the authors, using a special experiment and thanks to ultraviolet spectroscopy (2D coherent electron spectroscopy based on the photon echo) and the light polarization control in the experiment, they proved that coherent phenomena are actually occurring in the photosynthetic complexes (specifically the so-called FMO complex). However, this is not directly related to the transmission of the absorbed energy but the vibrations of the molecules are involved. Measurements in the laboratories in Lund University in Sweden were supported by the theoretical computations and enabled that the processes in the photosynthetic complexes to be much more precise. The article is also a general guide to distinguishing between coherent bulk carriers (electrons) and a coherent vibration signal in the future.
The Institute of Plasma Physics, through the TOPTEC Center, actively cooperates with the University of Lund. Further experimental work being carried out with the support of Laselab Europe brings new collaborative results that will allow further progress in ultra-fast spectroscopy and spectroscopy in general.
The abstract you can find here.
Dr. Karel Žídek has been working for three years in IPP in the TOPTEC Centre (Regional Center of Special Optics and Optoelectronic Systems located in Turnov). In his research he focuses mainly on ultrafast laser spectroscopy.
Photo by Marcelo Alcocer, Lund University. 


21 May 2018