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Department of Physics

Ryszard Jankowiak

Ryszard JankowiakAncillary Distinguished Professor of Physics
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
103 CBC Building
(785) 532-6785
(785) 532-1864 (lab)
(785) 532-6666 (fax)
Group Webpage

Ph.D. Technical University of Gdańsk, Department of Physics, Gdańsk, Poland, 1981

Research Area

Photosynthesis Research

We study complex biological systems including photosynthetic reaction centers and photosynthetic antenna pigment complexes of green plants/algae and photosynthetic bacteria using solid-state low temperature (laser-based) spectroscopies, i.e. fluorescence line-narrowing spectroscopy (FLNS), hole-burning spectroscopy (HBS), and single photosynthetic complex spectroscopy (SPCS). The combination of HBS on bulk samples and SPCS is a powerful frequency domain approach for obtaining data that can address a number of issues that are key to understanding excitonic structure and energy transfer dynamics in complex biological systems. A better understanding of the excitation energy transfer (EET) and charge separation (CS) processes taking place in photosynthetic complexes is of great interest, since photosynthetic complexes might offer attractive architectures for a future generation of circuitry in which proteins are organized by a macromolecular scaffold. This type of research is of potential importance for the future design of more efficient solar energy conversion devices. The long-term goal is to reach a better understanding of the ultrafast solar energy driven primary events of photosynthesis as they occur in higher plants, cyanobacteria, purple bacteria, and green algae and to integrate natural and artificial photosynthetic complexes with molecular photovoltaic devices.

Research Support

  • US Department of Energy (USDOE)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)

Recent Selected Publications

"Spectroscopic Study of the Light-Harvesting CP29 Antenna Complex of Photosystem II – Part I", X. Feng, X. Pan, M. Li, J. Pieper, W. Chang, and R. Jankowiak, J. Phys. Chem. B 117(22):6585-92 (2013). [link]

"Modeling of Optical Spectra of the Light-Harvesting CP29 Antenna Complex of Photosystem II – Part II", X. Feng, A. Kell, J. Pieper, and R. Jankowiak,J. Phys. Chem. B 117(22):6593-602 (2013). [link]

"On the Shape of the Phonon Spectral Density in Photosynthetic Complexes", A. Kell, X. Feng, M. Reppert, and R. Jankowiak, J. Phys. Chem. B  117(24):7317-23 (2013). [link]

"Fluorescence Line-Narrowing Difference Spectra: Dependence of Huang-Rhys Factor on Excitation Wavelength", C. Lin, I. Renge, and R. Jankowiak, Chem. Phys. Lett.,  576:15-20 (2013). [link]

"Probing Electron Transfer Times in Photosynthetic Reaction Centers by Hole-Burning Spectroscopy" R. Jankowiak, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., 3, 1684−1694 (2012). [link]