Quantum and classical phenomena in biology and nanophysics

Welcome to the QuantBioLab website

The Quantum Biology and Nanophysics research group was established at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) in October 2013 and is headed by Ilia A. Solov'yov.

Our research interests cover a broad range of questions on theory of biomolecules and smart inorganic materials. Of particular interest are those biological processes that trigger energy conversion into forms that are usable for chemical transformations and are quantum mechanical in nature. Such processes involve chemical reactions, light absorption, formation of excited electronic states, transfer of excitation energy, and transfer of electrons and protons in chemical processes. Equally challenging are problems in nanophysics which focus on potential applications in nano- technology, material science and medicine.


Animals and plants possess internal clocks that attune them to the daily or solar as well as to the tidal or lunar rhythm on Earth. A key blue-light receptor serving for this purpose is a protein called cryptochrome. Another apparent role of cryptochrome is that of a sensor for the geomagnetic field. In this role cryptochrome assists migratory birds in long-range navigation. The magnetoreceptor function of cryptochrome arises from light-induced electron transfer between a flavin cofactor and a tryptophan residue. A recent study shows now that subsequent further electron transfers yield a pair of so-called entangled , freely to precess, electron spins spaced sufficiently far apart to establish cryptochrome's sensitivity to the geomagnetic field.

  1. Gesa Lüdemann, Ilia A. Solov'yov, Tomás Kubar, Marcus Elstner. Solvent driving force ensures fast formation of a persistent and well-separated radical pair in plant cryptochrome, Journal of the American Chemical Society 137 pp.1147-1156 (2015).
  2. Angela M. Barragan, Antony R. Crofts, Klaus Schulten, Ilia A. Solov'yov. Identification of Ubiquinol Binding Motifs at the Qo-Site of the Cytochrome bc1 Complex, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 119 pp.433-447 (2015). Paper selected for a cover
  3. Mikhail Panshenskov, Ilia A. Solov'yov, Andrey V. Solov'yov. Efficient 3D Kinetic Monte Carlo Method for Modeling of Molecular Structure and Dynamics, Journal of Computational Chemistry 35 pp.1317-1329 (2014). Paper selected for a cover