Towards Understanding Natural and Artificial Light Harvesting – New Theoretical Insights and Optical Techniques
With substantial budget hikes towards renewable energy technologies, all the leading and developing world economies are recognizing the need to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Understanding the fundamental physics of light-harvesting in both natural and artificial systems is the key to development of efficient light-harvesting technologies. I will be presenting my thesis work on the following topics: i) The non-adiabatic energy funnel (Tiwari et al. PNAS 2013) underlying the remarkably efficient electronic energy transfer in natural light harvesting antennas. Future experiments to further investigate this new mechanism will also be discussed. ii) A novel femtosecond time-resolved photonumeric technique to quantitatively characterize transient chemical species. Preliminary measurements on PbSe quantum dots relevant for third generation photovoltaic technologies will also be presented.This talk will mainly focus on the first topicwhile briefly touching the key ideas of the second topic.