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Simulating photosynthetic energy transport on a photonic network
KIAS Author
Kim, M. S.
Quantum effects in photosynthetic energy transport in nature, especially for the typical Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) complexes, are extensively studied in quantum biology. Such energy transport processes can be investigated as open quantum systems that blend the quantum coherence and environmental noise, and have been experimentally simulated on a few quantum devices. However, the existing experiments always lack a solid quantum simulation for the FMO energy transport due to their constraints to map a variety of issues in actual FMO complexes that have rich biological meanings. Here we successfully map the full coupling profile of the seven-site FMO structure by comprehensive characterisation and precise control of the evanescent coupling of the three-dimensional waveguide array. By applying a stochastic dynamical modulation on each waveguide, we introduce the base site energy and the dephasing term in coloured noise to faithfully simulate the power spectral density of the FMO complexes. We show our photonic model well interprets the phenomena including reorganisation energy, vibrational assistance, exciton transfer and energy localisation. We further experimentally demonstrate the existence of an optimal transport efficiency at certain dephasing strength, providing a window to closely investigate environment-assisted quantum transport.