Publication at Faculty of Mathematics and Physics |

2022

We investigate the prospect of using a two-dimensional material, fluorographene, to mimic the light-harvesting function of natural photosynthetic antennas. We show by quantum chemical calculations that isles of graphene in a fluorographene sheet can act as quasi-molecules similar to natural pigments from which the structures similar in function to photosynthetic antennas can be built.

The graphene isles retain enough identity so that they can be used as building blocks to which intuitive design principles of natural photosynthetic antennas can be applied. We examine the excited state properties, stability, and interactions of these building blocks.

Constraints put on the antenna structure by the two-dimensionality of the material as well as the discrete nature of fluorographene sheet are studied. We construct a hypothetical energetic funnel out of two types of quasi-molecules to show how a limited number of building blocks can be arranged to bridge the energy gap and spatial separation in excitation energy transfer.

Energy transfer rates for a wide range of the system-environment interaction strengths are predicted. We conclude that conditions for the near unity quantum efficiency of energy transfer are likely to be fulfilled in fluorographene with the controlled arrangement of quasi-molecules.