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Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

München, 02/01/2018

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too.

Entatic state model complexes optimize the energies of starting and final configuration to enable fast reaction rates (illustrated by the hilly ground). The scientists demonstrate that the entatic state principle can be used to tune the photochemistry of copper complexes. Credit: RWTH Aachen, Sonja Herres-Pawlis

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how important bioinorganic electron transfer systems operate. Using a combination of very different, time-resolved measurement methods, the scientists were able to show that so-called pre-distorted states can speed up photochemical reactions or make them possible in the first place. The group headed by Wolfgang Zinth (LMU), Sonja Herres-Pawlis (RWTH Aachen) and Michael Rübhausen (University of Hamburg) is presenting its findings in the journal Nature Chemistry.

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