Universiteit Leiden

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Biophysical Organic Chemistry

Research

Research at the BPOC/SSNMR group is comprised of the following research themes:

Solid State NMR and modelling of photoinduced energy and electron transfer (Prof. Huub de Groot)

Huub de Groot is professor in Biophysical Organic Chemistry. With his team he works in the field of photosynthesis and artificial photosynthesis. The molecular basis for photosynthesis is formed by protein complexes and organelles that contain chlorophyll molecules. The antenna systems herein capture photons from sunlight. The light energy is then transmitted to the reaction centers, where it is converted into chemical energy. In order to study this process and work towards its application for renewable energy, we use Magic Angle Spinning (MAS) NMR, and contribute to the development of this method. We founded the first ultra high field MAS NMR facility in the world, using major European subsidies. This has triggered a revolution in the solid state MAS NMR scientific community and allows to solve structure that is inaccessible to diffraction or NMR in solution. We have initiated and participate in the development of BioSolar Cells, natural and artificial systems for the direct conversion of light energy into fuel and cellular products. Read more

Structure and regulation in photosynthesis (Dr. Anjali Pandit)

Plants, algae and cyanobacteria have the amazing capacity to perform delicate photophysical and photochemical processes of light capture, excitation transfer, charge separation and catalysis in fluctuating living environments. As a consequence, photosynthetic proteins and membranes form dynamic architectures. We study their flexible structures and performances to understand the mechanisms underlying dynamic photosynthetic energy conversion. Ultimately, this information may be used to re-design species that convert more light into biomass or to design solar-energy converting artificial constructs based on biological design principles. Read more

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