Photosynthetic Light Harvesting by Carotenoids: Detection of an Intermediate Excited State

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Science  20 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5602, pp. 2395-2398
DOI: 10.1126/science.1074685

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We present the first direct evidence of the presence of an intermediate singlet excited state (Sx) mediating the internal conversion from S2 to S1in carotenoids. The S2 to Sx transition is extremely fast and is completed within approximately 50 femtoseconds. These results require a reassessment of the energy transfer pathways from carotenoids to chlorophylls in the primary step of photosynthesis.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: giulio.cerullo{at}

  • Present address: “Light and Control,” PRESTO/JST, Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan.

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