Exciton properties and optical spectra of light harvesting complex II from a fully atomistic description†
We present a fully atomistic simulation of linear optical spectra (absorption, fluorescence and circular dichroism) of the Light Harvesting Complex II (LHCII) trimer using a hybrid approach, which couples a quantum chemical description of the chlorophylls with a classical model for the protein and the external environment (membrane and water). The classical model uses a polarizable Molecular Mechanics force field, thus allowing mutual polarization effects in the calculations of the excitonic properties. The investigation is performed both on the crystal structure and on structures generated by a μs long classical molecular dynamics simulation of the complex within a solvated membrane. The results show that this integrated approach not only provides a good description of the excitonic properties and optical spectra without the need for additional refinements of the excitonic parameters, but it also allows an atomistic investigation of the relative importance of electronic, structural and environment effects in determining the optical spectra.