Strong Coupling of Localized Surface Plasmons to Excitons in Light-Harvesting Complexes

Anna Tsargorodska, Michaël L. Cartron, Cvetelin Vasilev, Goutham Kodali, Olga A. Mass, Jeremy J. Baumberg, P. Leslie Dutton, C. Neil Hunter, Päivi Törmä*, Graham J. Leggett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Gold nanostructure arrays exhibit surface plasmon resonances that split after attaching light harvesting complexes 1 and 2 (LH1 and LH2) from purple bacteria. The splitting is attributed to strong coupling between the localized surface plasmon resonances and excitons in the light-harvesting complexes. Wild-type and mutant LH1 and LH2 from Rhodobacter sphaeroides containing different carotenoids yield different splitting energies, demonstrating that the coupling mechanism is sensitive to the electronic states in the light harvesting complexes. Plasmon-exciton coupling models reveal different coupling strengths depending on the molecular organization and the protein coverage, consistent with strong coupling. Strong coupling was also observed for self-assembling polypeptide maquettes that contain only chlorins. However, it is not observed for monolayers of bacteriochlorophyll, indicating that strong plasmon-exciton coupling is sensitive to the specific presentation of the pigment molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6850-6856
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • light harvesting complexes
  • photosynthesis
  • plasmonic nanoparticles
  • purple bacteria
  • Strong coupling


Dive into the research topics of 'Strong Coupling of Localized Surface Plasmons to Excitons in Light-Harvesting Complexes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this