The Scholes group is a team of physical chemists, experimental physicists and theorists who are interested in understanding photo-initiated ultrafast processes in biological and chemical systems. In our research we use femtosecond (10-15 seconds) laser pulses to unravel details in energy and electron transfer processes in different systems by means of multidimensional electronic spectroscopy. Our experimental efforts are supported by quantum chemical calculation and other theoretical approaches which help us to infer the design principles behind the photo-physics involved.
Over the past Century the development of quantum mechanics has boosted scientist to ask whether biology relies upon, or attains, function by using quantum physics. This has progresses to the emergence of a field termed “quantum biology”. Coherent light harvesting in photosynthetic organism is considered a prime example of quantum effects in biology. Despite a century of study, researchers are still learning about basic physical chemistry by studying how the energy of absorbed light hops from one molecule to another. Our studies range from examining how proteins influence energy transfer at an atomic level of detail to the development of fundamental physical models that help us address questions basic to quantum-mechanics, quantum information science, and organic photovoltaics.