HARVEST - From natural to artificial light-harvesting systems: unveiling fundamental processes towards a bio-inspired materials design

Prin: Research Projects Of Relevant National Interest – Call 2017

This project employs a combined experimental—theoretical approach to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of light-harvesting (LH) in natural pigment-protein complexes and optimize them for artificial LH systems. High time resolution ultrafast optical spectroscopy will be performed on highly controlled samples of both natural (from plants and mosses) and artificial (organic photovoltaic materials) LH systems. Experiments on natural systems will be compared to computational results, using a quantum mechanical description of the pigments and a classical description of the protein matrix and the environment. For artificial polymer-based materials, ab-initio and density matrix approaches will be used to unveil the nature of excitonic states and strong coupling to vibrations. Based on these microscopic descriptions, a quantitative analysis of LH in both natural and artificial systems will be provided in terms of quantum information theoretical quantities. This will allow us to elucidate the molecular mechanisms and the role played by quantum coherences in LH processes, and their relation to the systems’ structural and electronic properties, paving the way to artificial materials design through bio-inspired strategies.

Durata del progetto/Project duration
05/06/2019 – 5 /06/2022

Unibo Team Leader/Responsabile scientifico/Responsabile locale
Luca Muccioli - Responsabile locale

Prof. Giulio Cerullo – Politecnico di Milano


  • Politecnico di MILANO
  • Università di PISA
  • Università di ROMA "La Sapienza"
  • Università di VERONA
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
  • Università di BOLOGNA

Finanziamento:860050 euro (105360)