Quantum-enhanced capture of photons using optical ratchet states
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Natural and artificial light harvesting systems often operate in a regime where the flux of photons is relatively low. Besides absorbing as many photons as possible, it is paramount to prevent excitons from annihilation via photon re-emission until they have undergone an irreversible energy conversion process. Taking inspiration from photosynthetic antenna structures, we here consider ringlike systems and introduce a class of states we call ratchets: excited states capable of absorbing but not emitting light. This allows our antennae to absorb further photons while retaining the excitations from those that have already been captured. Simulations for a ring of four sites reveal a peak power enhancement by up to a factor of 35 owing to a combination of ratcheting and the prevention of emission through dark-state population. In the slow extraction limit, the achievable power enhancement due to ratcheting alone exceeds 20%.
Higgins , K , Lovett , B W & Gauger , E 2017 , ' Quantum-enhanced capture of photons using optical ratchet states ' Journal of Physical Chemistry C , vol 121 , no. 38 , pp. 20714–20719 . DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b07138
Journal of Physical Chemistry C
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society. This is an open access article published under an ACS AuthorChoice License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article or any adaptations for non-commercial purposes.
This work was supported by the EPSRC and the Leverhulme Trust. BWL thanks the Royal Society for a University Research Fellowship. EMG acknowledges support from the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Scottish Government.
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