Leading solar fuels research since 1994


The Swedish Consortium for Artificial Photosynthesis is a collaborative research environment with the purpose of advancing the science and utilization of solar fuels - fuel from solar energy. We bring together leading scientists with expertise in molecular biology, biophysics and biochemistry, synthetic chemistry and chemical physics.

The Consortium was started in 1994. Since then we have assembled the necessary expertise in an integrated research body, known as the Swedish Consortium for Artificial Photosynthesis.

Here we present who we are and what is going on in our research. We invite anyone who wants to know more about artificial photosynthesis and solar fuels to follow the links to the homepages of our researchers.  



February 21: Inaugural Symposium of the Center for Artificial Photosynthesis 

This symposium covers current topics in photochemistry and photosynthesis. No registration is necessary! For more information and programme please see our page for News and events.

Chairman: Dr. Jacinto Sá

November 15, 2018:  Johannes Messinger, Casper de Lichtenberg, Mun Hon Cheah, Dmitry Shevela, and others published an article in Nature:

Structures of the intermediates of Kok’s photosynthetic water oxidation clock.

Authors: Jan Kern, Ruchira Chatterjee, Iris D. Young, Franklin D. Fuller, Louise Lassalle, Mohamed Ibrahim, Sheraz Gul, Thomas Fransson, Aaron S. Brewster, Roberto Alonso-Mori, Rana Hussein, Miao Zhang, Lacey Douthit, Casper de Lichtenberg, Mun Hon Cheah, Dmitry Shevela, Julia Wersig, Ina Seuffert, Dimosthenis Sokaras, Ernest Pastor, Clemens Weninger, Thomas Kroll, Raymond G. Sierra, Pierre Aller, Agata Butryn, Allen M. Orville, Mengning Liang, Alexander Batyuk, Jason E. Koglin, Sergio Carbajo, Sébastien Boutet, Nigel W. Moriarty, James M. Holton, Holger Dobbek, Paul D. Adams, Uwe Bergmann, Nicholas K. Sauter, Athina Zouni, Johannes Messinger, Junko Yano & Vittal K. Yachandra


Inspired by the period-four oscillation in flash-induced oxygen evolution of photosystem II discovered by Joliot in 1969, Kok performed additional experiments and proposed a five-state kinetic model for photosynthetic oxygen evolution, known as Kok’s S-state clock or cycle. The model comprises four (meta)stable intermediates (S0, S1, S2 and S3) and one transient S4 state, which precedes dioxygen formation occurring in a concerted reaction from two water-derived oxygens bound at an oxo-bridged tetra manganese calcium (Mn4CaO5) cluster in the oxygen-evolving complex. This reaction is coupled to the two-step reduction and protonation of the mobile plastoquinone QB at the acceptor side of PSII. Here, using serial femtosecond X-ray crystallography and simultaneous X-ray emission spectroscopy with multi-flash visible laser excitation at room temperature, we visualize all (meta)stable states of Kok’s cycle as high-resolution structures (2.04–2.08 Å). In addition, we report structures of two transient states at 150 and 400 µs, revealing notable structural changes including the binding of one additional ‘water’, Ox, during the S2→S3 state transition. 

Our results suggest that one water ligand to calcium (W3) is directly involved in substrate delivery. The binding of the additional oxygen Ox in the S3 state between Ca and Mn1 supports O–O bond formation mechanisms involving O5 as one substrate, where Ox is either the other substrate oxygen or is perfectly positioned to refill the O5 position during O2 release. Thus, our results exclude peroxo-bond formation in the S3 state, and the nucleophilic attack of W3 onto W2 is unlikely.

November 30, 2018: Kasper Skov Kjær, Nidhi Kaul, Om Prakash, Pavel Chábera, Nils W. Rosemann, Alireza Honarfar, Olga Gordivska, Lisa A. Fredin, Karl-Erik Bergquist, Lennart Häggström, Tore Ericsson, Linnea Lindh, Arkady Yartsev, Stenbjörn Styring, Ping Huang, Jens Uhlig, Jesper Bendix, Daniel Strand, Villy Sundström, Petter Persson, Reiner Lomoth, and Kenneth Wärnmark published an article in Science:

Luminescence and reactivity of a charge-transfer excited iron complex with nanosecond lifetime.


Iron’s abundance and rich coordination chemistry are potentially appealing features for photochemical applications. However, the photoexcitable charge-transfer (CT) states of most Fe complexes are limited by picosecond or sub-picosecond deactivation through low-lying metal centered (MC) states, resulting in inefficient electron transfer reactivity and complete lack of photoluminescence. Here we show that octahedral coordination of Fe(III) by two mono-anionic facial tris-carbene ligands can suppress such deactivation dramatically. 

The resulting complex [Fe(phtmeimb)2]+, where phtmeimb is [phenyl(tris(3-methylimidazol-1-ylidene))borate]-, exhibits strong, visible, room temperature photoluminescence with a 2.0 ns lifetime and 2% quantum yield via spin-allowed transition from a ligand-to-metal charge-transfer (2LMCT) state to the ground state (2GS). Reductive and oxidative electron transfer reactions were observed for the 2LMCT state of [Fe(phtmeimb)2]+ in bimolecular quenching studies with methylviologen and diphenylamine.

Fig. 2Electrochemistry and spectroscopy of [Fe(phtmeimb)2]+ in dry acetonitrile at room temperature.

(A) Cyclic and differential pulse voltammetry. (B) Optical absorption (left black curve), normalized photoluminescence (right black) and normalized excitation spectra (red circles). (C) Visible orange photoluminescence of 50 μM [Fe(phtmeimb)2]+ in acetonitrile upon 532 nm excitation.

Participants in the CAP workshop in Sigtuna, Sweden, April 26-27, 2018.

Participants in the CAP workshop in Sigtuna, Sweden, April 26-27, 2018.

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Last updated January 10 2019