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LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY | MOLECULAR BIOPHYSICS AND INTEGRATED BIOIMAGING DIVISION

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  Photosystem II and XFELs
Schematic of Photosystem II crystals on a Droplet-on-Tape system being advanced through the S-states by visible-laser flashes, and then probed using the femtosecond pulses from an X-ray Free Electron Laser.

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YANO/YACHANDRA GROUP

Most of the O2 in the atmosphere that supports life on earth is generated by plants, algae, and cyanobacteria via the photo-induced oxidation of water to dioxygen:

2H2O → O2 + 4e- + 4H+

This light-driven reaction is catalyzed by a manganese/calcium complex (Mn4CaO5), which sequentially stores four oxidizing equivalents used to oxidize two molecules of water to molecular oxygen.

In our group, we primarily apply X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography techniques using X-rays at X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) and synchrotron sources, and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to investigate molecular and electronic structure of the catalytic Mn4CaO5 cluster and the mechanism of water oxidation. The XFEL studies allow us to follow the catalytic reaction at room temperature in a time-resolved manner. We also study inorganic transition metal complexes involved in energy conversion and electro- and photo-chemically activated catalysts for water-oxidation and carbon dioxide reduction.


LBNL | Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division | Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis



Last updated on January 20th, 2017. Email webmaster for comments or questions.