Analysis of picosecond laser induced fluorescence phenomena in photosynthetic membranes utilizing a master equation approach

G. Paillotin, C. E. Swenberg, J. Breton, N. E. Geacintov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A Pauli master equation is formulated and solved to describe the fluorescence quantum yield, phi, and the fluorescence temporal decay curves. F(t), obtained in picosecond laser excitation experiments of photosynthetic systems. It is assumed that the lowering of phi with increasing pulse intensity is due to bimolecular singlet exciton annihilation processes which compete with the monomolecular exciton decay processes; Poisson statistics are taken into account. Calculated curves of phi as a function of the number of photon hits per domain are compared with experimental data, and it is concluded that these domains contain at least two to four connected photosynthetic units (depending on the temperature), where each photosynthetic unit is assumed to contain approximately 300 pigment molecules. It is shown that under conditions of high excitation intensities, the fluorescence decays approximately according to the (time)1/2 law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-533
Number of pages21
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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