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Effect of magnetic fields on the triplet state lifetime in photosynthetic reaction centers: Evidence for thermal repopulation of the initial radical pair

By Christopher E. D. Chidsey, Larry Takiff, Richard A. Goldstein and Steven G. Boxer


The lifetime of the molecular triplet state formed by recombination of the radical ion pair in quinonedepleted bacterial photosynthetic reaction centers is found to depend on applied magnetic field strength. It is suggested that this magnetic field effect results from thermally activated repopulation of the same radical ion pair that generates the triplet. Consistent with this hypothesis, the magnetic field effect on the triplet lifetime disappears at low temperature where the triplet state decays exclusively by ordinary intersystem crossing. This activated pathway for the decay of the triplet state can explain the strong temperature dependence of the triplet decay rate. A detailed theoretical treatment of the problem within a set of physically reasonable assumptions relates the observed temperature dependence of the triplet decay rate to the energy gap between the radical ion pair intermediate and the triplet state. This energy gap is estimated to be about 950 cm(-1) (0.12 eV). Combined with an estimate of the energy of the donor excited state, we obtain an energy gap between the excited singlet state of the donor and the radical ion pair of 2,250 cm(-1) (0.28 eV)

Topics: Biological Sciences: Biophysics
Year: 1985
DOI identifier: 10.1073/pnas.82.20.6850
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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