Research

Our research is focused on experimental and theoretical investigations of molecular processes of photosynthesis, of spectral properties of photosynthetic chromoproteins, and of stability of integral membrane proteins under high hydrostatic pressure. A long-term goal of these studies is a deeper understanding of the basic physical mechanisms of biomolecular functioning as well as of biocomplexity.

Research directions

Polarons in light harvesting: Lessons from natural nanoworld

Unraveling the hidden nature of photosynthetic antenna excitations

Fine-tuning of the antenna spectra

Selective spectroscopy of biomolecules

Protein mechanics and stability

Barochromic (pressure-dependent) studies of electronic excited states

Single-molecule biophysics

Neutron Scattering in Photosynthesis Research

Available techniques and major setups

A unique combination of advanced high-resolution laser spectroscopy techniques (time-resolved spectroscopy in femto-picosecond time domain, hole-burning and fluorescence line-narrowing spectroscopy), high-pressure spectroscopy and physical modeling is used to study biophysical systems and processes.

More information about the set-ups

Current projects

  1. Physical studies of biologically relevant molecules and molecular complexes. Target Project SF0180055s07 (2007-2012) of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Science.
  2. Energy level structure and protein dynamics in a natural light-harvesting complex. Estonian Science Foundation Grant 9453 (2012-2015)

Selected active cooperation partners

  • Arizona State University, Prof. Neal W. Woodbury, Prof. James Allen, Dr. Su Lin
  • CEA-Saclay, Prof. Bruno Robert
  • Free University of Amsterdam, Prof. Rienk van Grondelle
  • Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Prof. Harald Paulsen
  • Lund University, Prof. Villy Sundström, Prof. Tõnu Pullerits, Dr. Ivan Scheblykin
  • Max Planck Institute for Bioinorganic Chemistry, Mülheim, Prof. Alfred Holzwarth
  • Technical University Berlin, Prof. Gernot Renger, Prof. Hans Joachim Eichler
  • University of Sydney, Prof. Jeffrey R. Reimers
  • Universität Bayreuth, Prof. Jürgen Köhler
  • University College Dublin: Prof. David Coker
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Prof. Klaus Schulten
  • University of Jyväskylä, Juha Linnanto
  • University of Sheffield, Prof. Neil Hunter, Dr. John D. Olsen
  • Vilnius Institute of Physics, Dr. Gediminas Trinkunas