WELCOME program

A central focus of the project carried out in the frame of WELCOME program of the Foundation for Polish Science is to apply advanced optical microscopy and spectroscopy techniques to study and understand fundamental processes occurring at the nanoscale in hybrid systems comprising of biological and inorganic nanostructures using single molecule fluorescence. In particular we intend to develop ways to control the optical properties of protein-pigment complexes that take part in photosynthesis. This can be achieved by conjugating light-harvesting complexes with inorganic nanostructures, such as metal nanoparticles and semiconductor nanocrystals. Firstly, plasmon excitations generated in properly designed metal nanoparticles should result in absorption enhancement of light-harvesting complexes. Secondly, coupling a light-harvesting antenna to a nanocrystal should increase the overall absorption of such a hybrid system due to comparatively large extinction coefficient of the latter.