Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Dr. Gary Hastings

Second Advisor

Dr. Vadym Apalkov

Third Advisor

Dr. Gennady Cymbalyuk

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Mukesh Dhamala


Transient absorption spectroscopy was used to study light induced electron transfer processes in Type 1 photosynthetic reaction centers. Flash induced absorption changes were probed at 800, 703 and 487 nm, and on multiple timescales from nanoseconds to tens of milliseconds. Both wild type and menB mutant photosystem I reaction centers from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 were studied. Photosystem I reaction centers from the green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, and the newly discovered chlorophyll-d containing organism Acaryochloris marina, were also studied.

The flash induced absorption changes obtained for menB mutant photosystem I reaction centers are distinguishable from wild type at 800 nm. MenB mutant photosystem I reaction centers displays a large amplitude decay phase with lifetime of ~50 ns which is absent in wild type photosystem I reaction centers. It is hypothesized that this ~50 ns phase is due to the formation of the triplet state of primary electron donor.