Photosynthetic mechanisms in plants

Program Code: 

Terry Frankcombe (

Description of Work: 

Photosynthesis is the source of all biological solar energy capture, and the source of most atmospheric oxygen. All photosynthetic oxygen production occurs in the oxygen evolving centre of a structure known as photosystem II. However, much remains to be understood about the detailed mechanism of using captured solar energy to generate free charges which go on to oxidise water into oxygen. This project will use advanced quantum chemistry calculations to model the nature of the excited states of the photosystem II reaction centre in order to elucidate the mechanism of primary charge separation and determine the role of the surrounding protein environment.