Efficiency of energy transfer in a light-harvesting system under quantum coherence

Alexandra Olaya-Castro, Chiu Fan Lee, Francesca Fassioli Olsen, Neil F. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

247 Scopus citations


We investigate the role of quantum coherence in the efficiency of excitation transfer in a ring-hub arrangement of interacting two-level systems, mimicking a light-harvesting antenna connected to a reaction center as it is found in natural photosynthetic systems. By using a quantum jump approach, we demonstrate that in the presence of quantum coherent energy transfer and energetic disorder, the efficiency of excitation transfer from the antenna to the reaction center depends intimately on the quantum superposition properties of the initial state. In particular, we find that efficiency is sensitive to symmetric and asymmetric superposition of states in the basis of localized excitations, indicating that initial-state properties can be used as an efficiency control parameter at low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number085115
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 12 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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