Delmar Larsen

2010 Hellman Fellow

Associate Professor, Chemistry
UC Davis

Project Title: Breaking the Efficiency Limit for Solar Photovoltaic Devices

The Larsen group focuses on exploring the ultrafast processes (fs to ns) of photoreceptors and other light sensitizing proteins which serve central roles in light activated biological functions. A fundamental, and yet unanswered, question for many photoreceptors is how the absorption of a photon by a small co-factor embedded within a protein is transformed into the complex response required for biological function.We explore how the surrounding protein modifies the chemistry of embedded photoreactions, including the evolving kinetics, reaction yields, thermodynamic and spectroscopic features with the aim of characterizing the hierarchy of reaction steps ranging from fastest local structural changes (femtosecond timescales) to slower long range conformational changes. This requires a multi-disciplinary research approach that incorporates tools from molecular biology, physical chemistry and computational sciences.

Education, Awards and Professional Highlights

Appointed to UC Davis faculty (2005)
Research Associate, University of Southern California (2004-05)
Research Associate, Free University of Amsterdam (2001-04)
Ph.D. University of Chicago/University of California, Berkeley (2001)
B.S. University of Washington (1995)

Representative Publications
Characterizing Excitation Dynamics in Multi-Chromophoric Aggregates One Pulse at a Time, Leonas Valkunas, Rienk van Grondelle, Delmar S. Larsen, in preparation.

Excited State Dynamics of Carotenoids in Light Harvesting Complexes: 2. Dissecting Pulse Structures obtained from Optimal Control Experiments, Emmanouil Papagiannakis, Mikas Vengris, Leonas Valkunas, Rienk van Grondelle, Delmar S. Larsen, submitted.

Excited State Dynamics of Carotenoids in Light Harvesting Complexes: 1. Exploring the Relationship between the S1 and S* States, Emmanouil Papagiannakis, Mikas Vengris, Rienk van Grondelle, Delmar S. Larsen, submitted.

Using Ultrafast Dispersed Pump-Dump-Probe and Pump-Repump Probe Spectroscopies to Explore the Light Induced Dynamics of Peridinin in Solution, Emmanouil Papagiannakis, Mikas Vengris, Delmar S. Larsen , Ivo H.M. van Stokkum, Roger G. Hiller, Rienk van Grondelle, submitted.

Mediation of Light Harvesting by a central dimer in Phycoerythrin 545 studied with Ultrafast Transient Absorption, Alexander B. Doust, Ivo H.M. van Stokkum, Delmar S. Larsen, Krystyna E. Wilk, Paul M.G. Curmi, Rienk van Grondelle, Gregory D. Scholes. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 109, 14219-14226 (2005).

Ultrafast Dynamics of Isolated Model Photoactive Yellow Protein Chromophores: “Chemical Perturbation Theory” in the Laboratory, Mikas Vengris, Delmar S. Larsen, Michael A. van der Horst, Olaf F.A. Larsen, Klass Hellingwerf, Rienk van Grondelle, Journal of Physical Chemistry A , 109, 4197-4208 (2005).

Initial Photo-induced Dynamics of the Photoactive Yellow Protein, Delmar S. Larsen and Rienk van Grondelle, ChemPhysChem 6, 828-837 (2005).