Internal Symposium at CCIQS – 2016 edition

Having a symposium right after the winter holidays is a great way to get back in touch with colleagues and students; we get to hear how their work is progressing and more importantly I get forced to become focused once again after a few weeks of just not paying much attention to anything related to work.

This year our group has happily gained some additions and sadly seen some others leave in search of a better future. María Eugenia “Maru” Sandoval gave a talk on the work she did on Singlet Fission (SF) in the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) complex during a three month stay at the Basque Country University in Spain under the supervision of Dr. David Casanova. Aside her calculations regarding Förster theory and a modification to Marcus’ equation, Singlet Fission was explored by her as a possible mechanism in which the Photosynthetic complex FMO might transfer solar energy from the antennae to the reaction center; one that might explain the high efficiency of it.

SF is a fascinating phenomenon: So you get an excited state S1 for a molecule1 that has been struck with a suitable photon; this excited state can either radiate back to the ground state (S0) but if there were two degenerate and coupled triplets whose energies are similar to half the S1 energy then the excited state might decay into [TT]1, hence singlet fission. In some cases (e.g. polyacene crystals) one of these triplets might be located in an adjacent molecule, this creates a hole in a second molecule due to the same single photon! This means creating twice the current albeit at half the voltage in photovoltaic materials. Maru has explored the possibility of SF occurring in natural systems and we think we might be on to something; she will defend her masters thesis any day now and we should see a publication later on this year. After that, she is pondering a few interesting options for her PhD.

On the poster session, our lab was represented by Marycarmen Reséndiz, Gustavo Mondragón and Guillermo Caballero. Durbis Pazos just now joined our group so he didn’t have to present a poster but nevertheless showed up gladly to support his colleagues. Gustavo will work on other aspects regarding the photochemistry of the FMO complex while Marycarmen is working on calculating the electronic interactions of chemically modified nucleotides when incorporated into DNA strands. Guillermo had a poster on his calculations for another reaction mechanism that caught his eye while still working with the experimentalists. I’m pleased to say that Guillermo is close to being published and also close to leaving us in order to get a PhD in a prestigious university that shall remain unnamed.

Thank you guys for keeping up the good work and maintaining the quality of the research we do, here is to a year full of success both in and out of the lab! Any success this lab has is due to you.

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About joaquinbarroso

Theoretical chemist in his early thirties, in love with life and deeply in love with his woman. I love science, baseball, literature, movies (perhaps even in that order). I'm passionate about food and lately wines have become a major hobby. In a nutshell I'm filled with regrets but also with hope, and that is called "living".

Posted on January 27, 2016, in CCIQS, Photochemistry, Photosysnthesis, Research, Talks, UNAM, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Dear Dr. Barroso,

    Talking about meetings, I wonder whether my invitation to participate in the 42nd Congress of Theoretical Chemists of Latin Expression has reached you and your group.

    Just in case, I am sending an invitation letter and a poster of the congress (in English). Would like very much to have someone from your group participating.

    Best regards

    Oscar

    2016-01-27 12:33 GMT-03:00 Dr. Joaquin Barrosos Blog :

    > joaquinbarroso posted: “Having a symposium right after the winter holidays > is a great way to get back in touch with colleagues and students; we get to > hear how their work is progressing and more importantly I get forced to > become focused once again after a few weeks of just not ” >

    • Thank you very much! I indeed got your invitation I just don’t know if I will be able to make it due to some financial restrictions taking place this year in our country. I will take a look at it in a second, I promise.

      Have a nice day and thanks for keeping our research in mind for such an important conference!

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