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Biophysics of Photosynthesis

The Biophysics group uses advanced optical spectroscopy and microscopy to obtain fundamental knowledge on the relation between the structure, function and dynamics of proteins and other biological molecules, both in single proteins and in supramolecular aggregates.

Photosynthesis converts energy from light into biological energy and is essential for all life on Earth. For successful operation it requires an integration of (sub-)picosecond photophysical and photochemical processes with developmental and regulatory processes that take place over much longer timescales. Understanding the basic principles that nature exploits in its solar energy converters is of utmost importance to develop new technologies for the production of clean and sustainable energy. We study photosynthesis by a variety of advanced laser-spectroscopic and microscopic techniques, also within the framework of a European Initial Training Network.

Photoactive proteins, signal transduction and enzymes
Molecular processes at the basis of the action of proteins involve the transfer of electrons, protons, hydrogen or hydride atoms, which are coupled to the motion of (charged) molecular groups. Signal transduction proteins convert the event of absorption of a photon in a signal that can be sensed by other proteins. We study these events with ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy in the visible and mid-infrared spectral regions.

Mathematically based analysis of multidimensional data is an important tool in the process of converting experimental data into biophysical knowledge

In our laboratory we use a variety of opticalĀ and microscopy techniques.

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