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Seminar of Alex CHIN (Institut de Nanosciences de Paris) - The 2nd of February - 11h

Title: From the ultrafast dynamics of photosynthesis to the quantum design of energy harvesting materials

Seminar room of Im2np, campus de Saint-Jérôme, 1st floor Building Poincaré

ID de réunion : 848 7806 6065

Code secret : 404976

Nearly fifteen years ago, the unexpected observation of coherent excitonic dynamics in photosynthetic proteins kick-started a vibrant interdisciplinary effort to explore the possible roles and advantages of non-classical effects in biological processes. Today, claims that Nature actually exploits quantum mechanics in vivo remain highly controversial, but a key outcome of 'Quantum Biology' has been to expose the exquisite nano engineering of light-harvesting proteins to powerful theoretical and computational tools from across condensed matter, quantum information and chemical sciences. From these techniques, a deep, microscopic understanding has arisen of how (open) quantum dynamics can drive sophisticated optoelectronic functionalities in protein structures, inspiring light-harvesting concepts that could be realized in artificial nanotechnologies. In this talk I will present an overview of my theoretical work on biological light-harvesting, covering the highly tuned electron structure of PPCs, the critical role of structural vibrations in ultrafast energy transport, and how these could be leveraged for quantum-enhanced energy harvesting in man-made systems. Time permitting, I will also present some of the 'bio-inspired' devices in which these ideas have actually been tested, including organic photovoltaics, DNA origami and, even, superconducting qubit circuits.

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