Maiuri Margherita

#algocoltura

Ricercatore, Dipartimento di Fisica del Politecnico di Milano

Sessione: LE ALGHE AL LAVORO: STATO DELL’ARTE E RICERCA

Alghe artificiali: la fotosintesi rivelata con la spettroscopia ultraveloce

Almost 80% of global energy needs are satisfied by burning fossil fuels that are fated to deplete in about 100 years. Solar energy provides a renewable and long-term solution for world’s future energy consumption: ~0.05% of it would be sufficient to cover global needs. The question of how to exploit solar energy calls for novel concepts to efficiently harvest sunlight. Natural photosynthesis is the proof that organic materials can be effectively used to that purpose, so there is a growing interest in the design of artificial structures, inspired by Nature, acting as efficient light-harvesting (LH) devices (bio-inspired approach). Photosynthetic organisms rely on pigment-protein complexes that harvest sunlight with a sophisticated chain of electronic energy transfer (EET) processes occurring on the sub-picosecond timescale, thus resulting in an extremely high yield for light-to-charge conversion (>95%). Therefore, we must learn from Nature how to design efficient artificial photosynthetic/photovoltaic systems. In this talk we will show how ultrafast optical spectroscopy is an extremely powerful tool to unveil and study these mechanisms. In particular, the growing evidence regarding the persistence of long-lived electronic coherences in several LH antenna-proteins suggests the possibility of realizing and exploiting light-initiated quantum dynamics in synthetic molecular devices based on EET.

Curriculum Vitae

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