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Researchers take first step towards controlling photosynthesis using mirrors

Laser setup for ultrafast spectroscopy
The researchers used ultrafast laser spectroscopy (Photo: Pavel Chabera)

With the help of mirrors, placed only a few hundred nanometers apart, a research team led by NanoLundian Tönu Pullerits has managed to use light more efficiently. The finding could eventually be useful for controlling solar energy conversion during photosynthesis, or other reactions driven by light. One application could for example be converting carbon dioxide into fuel.

The LU research team has previously been able to show that with ultrafast laser spectroscopy, and the help of advanced materials, it would be possible to reduce the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in the long term. In their latest study in Nature Communications, the team has made new progress when it comes to taking advantage of the light. The study shows a strong interaction between the light and the antenna complexes that can create a ripple effect that in turn can speed up the energy transfer process. 

The study has been published in Nature Communications: ”Optical cavity-mediated exciton dynamics in photosynthetic light harvesting 2 complexes”

Read the full Lund University news article in English

Read the full Lund University news article in Swedish