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  1. Excitation energy transfer (EET) is fundamental to many processes in chemical and biological systems and carries significant implications for the design of materials suitable for efficient solar energy harvest and transport. This review discusses the role of intramolecular vibrations on the dynamics of EET in nonbonded molecular aggregates of bacteriochlorophyll, a perylene bisimide, and a model system, based on insights obtained from fully quantum mechanical real-time path integral results for a Frenkel exciton Hamiltonian that includes all vibrational modes of each molecular unit at finite temperature. Generic trends, as well as features specific to the vibrational characteristics of the molecules, are identified. Weak exciton-vibration (EV) interaction leads to compact, near-Gaussian densities on each electronic state, whose peak follows primarily a classical trajectory on a torus, while noncompact densities and nonlinear peak evolution are observed with strong EV coupling. Interaction with many intramolecular modes and increasing aggregate size smear, shift, and damp these dynamical features.
  2. The process of excitation energy transfer (EET) in molecular aggregates is etched with the signatures of a multitude of electronic and vibrational time scales that often are extremely difficult to resolve. The effect of the motion associated with one molecular vibration on that of another is fundamental to the dynamics of EET. In this paper we present simple theoretical ideas along with fully quantum mechanical calculations to develop a comprehensive mechanistic picture of EET in terms of the time evolution of electronic-vibrational densities (EVD) in a perylene bisimide (PBI) dimer, where 28 intramolecular normal modes couple to the ground and excited electronic states of each molecule. The EVD motion exhibits a plethora of dynamical features, which impart physical justification for the composite effects observed in the EET dynamics. Weakly coupled vibrations lead to classical-like motion of the EVD center on each electronic state, while highly nontrivial EVD characteristics develop under moderate or strong exciton–vibration interaction, leading to the formation of split or crescent-shaped densities, as well as density retention that slows down energy transfer and creates new peaks in the electronic populations. Pronounced correlation effects are observed in two-mode projections of the EVD, as a consequence of indirect vibrational couplingmore »between uncoupled normal modes induced by the electronic coupling. Such indirect coupling depends on the strength of exciton–vibration interactions as well as the frequency mismatch between the two modes and leaves nontrivial signatures in the electronic population dynamics. The collective effects of many vibrational modes cause a partial smearing of these features through dephasing.« less
  3. We report fully quantum mechanical simulations of excitation energy transfer within the peripheral light harvesting complex (LH2) of Rhodopseudomonas molischianum at room temperature. The exciton–vibration Hamiltonian comprises the 16 singly excited bacteriochlorophyll states of the B850 (inner) ring and the 8 states of the B800 (outer) ring with all available electronic couplings. The electronic states of each chromophore couple to 50 intramolecular vibrational modes with spectroscopically determined Huang–Rhys factors and to a weakly dissipative bath that models the biomolecular environment. Simulations of the excitation energy transfer following photoexcitation of various electronic eigenstates are performed using the numerically exact small matrix decomposition of the quasiadiabatic propagator path integral. We find that the energy relaxation process in the 24-state system is highly nontrivial. When the photoexcited state comprises primarily B800 pigments, a rapid intra-band redistribution of the energy sharply transitions to a significantly slower relaxation component that transfers 90% of the excitation energy to the B850 ring. The mixed character B850* state lacks the slow component and equilibrates very rapidly, providing an alternative energy transfer channel. This (and also another partially mixed) state has an anomalously large equilibrium population, suggesting a shift to lower energy by virtue of exciton–vibration coupling. The spreadmore »of the vibrationally dressed states is smaller than that of the eigenstates of the bare electronic Hamiltonian. The total population of the B800 band is found to decay exponentially with a 1/ e time of 0.5 ps, which is in good agreement with experimental results.

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