Argonne National Laboratory

Publication Year
2017
Abstract
Seemingly redundant parallel pathways for electron transfer (ET), composed of identical sets of cofactors, are a cornerstone feature of photosynthetic reaction centers (RCs) involved in light-energy conversion. In native bacterial RCs, both A and B branches house one bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) and one bacteriopheophytin (BPh), but the A branch is used exclusively. Described herein are the results-obtained for two Rhodobacter capsulatus RCs with an unnaturally high degree of cofactor asymmetry, two BPh on the RC's B side and two BChl on the A side. These pigment changes derive, respectively, from the His(M180)Leu mutation [a BPh ((Phi(B)) replaces the B-side BChl (BB)], and the Leu(M212)His mutation [a BChl (beta(A))) replaces the A-side BPh (H-A)]. Additionally, Tyr(M208)Phe was employed to disfavor ET to the A branch; in one mutant, Val(M131)Glu creates a hydrogen bond to H-B to enhance ET to H-B. In both Phi(B) mutants, the decay kinetics of the excited primary ET donor (P*) resolve three populations with lifetimes of similar to 9 ps (50-60%), similar to 40 ps (10-20%), and similar to 200 ps (20-30%), with P+Phi(-)(B) formed predominantly from the 9 ps fraction. The 50-60% yield of P+Phi(B)- is the highest yet observed for a Phi(B)-containing RC. The results provide insight into factors needed for efficient multistep ET.
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Publication Year
2017
Abstract
α-Graphyne is a two-dimensional sheet of sp–sp2 hybridized carbon atoms in a honeycomb lattice. While the geometrical structure is similar to that of graphene, the hybridized triple bonds give rise to electronic structure that is different from that of graphene. Similar to graphene, α-graphyne can be stacked in bilayers with two stable configurations, but the different stackings have very different electronic structures: one is predicted to have gapless parabolic bands, and the other, a tunable band gap which is attractive for applications. In order to realize applications, it is crucial to understand which stacking is more stable. This is difficult to model, as the stability is a result of weak interlayer van der Waals interactions which are not well captured by density functional theory (DFT). We have used quantum Monte Carlo simulations that accurately include van der Waals interactions to calculate the interlayer binding energy of bilayer graphyne and to determine its most stable stacking mode. Our results show that interlayer bindings of sp- and sp2-bonded carbon networks are significantly underestimated in a Kohn–Sham DFT approach, even with an exchange-correlation potential corrected to include, in some approximation, van der Waals interactions. Finally, our quantum Monte Carlo calculations reveal that the interlayer binding energy difference between the two stacking modes is only 0.9(4) meV/atom. From this we conclude that the two stable stacking modes of bilayer α-graphyne are almost degenerate with each other, and both will occur with about the same probability at room temperature unless there is a synthesis path that prefers one stacking over the other.
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