Excitation energy transfer and charge separation in the isolated Photosystem II reaction center

Scott R. Greenfield, Michael R. Wasielewski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The nature of excitation energy transfer and charge separation in isolated Photosystem II reaction centers is an area of considerable interest and controversy. Excitation energy transfer from accessory chlorophyll a to the primary electron donor P680 takes place in tens of picoseconds, although there is some evidence that thermal equilibration of the excitation between P680 and a subset of the accessory chlorophyll a occurs on a 100-fs timescale. The intrinsic rate for charge separation at low temperature is accepted to be ca. (2 ps)-1, and is based on several measurements using different experimental techniques. This rate is in good agreement with estimates based on larger sized particles, and is similar to the rate observed with bacterial reaction centers. However, near room temperature there is considerable disagreement as to the observed rate for charge separation, with several experiments pointing to a ca. (3 ps)-1 rate, and others to a ca. (20 ps)-1 rate. These processes and the experiments used to measure them will be reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-97
Number of pages15
JournalPhotosynthesis Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • P680
  • electron transfer
  • pheophytin
  • primary photochemistry
  • ultrafast spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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