The ultrafast carotenoid band shift upon excitation of nearby bacteriochlorophyll molecules was studied in three different light harvesting complexes from purple bacteria. The results were analyzed in terms of changes in local electric field of the carotenoids. Time dependent density functional theory calculations based on known and model structures led to good agreement with experimental results, strongly suggesting that the mutual orientation of the pigment molecules rather than the type of the carotenoid molecules determines the extent of the ultrafast band shift. We further estimate that the protein induced local field nearby carotenoid molecule is about 4 or 6 MV/cm, depending on the orientation of the change of the electrical dipole in the carotenoid upon optical transition.
J. Phys. Chem. B

Herek, J, Wendling, M, He, Z, Polívka, T, Garcia-Asua, G, Cogdell, R. J, … Pullerits, T. (2004). Ultrafast carotenoid band shifts: experiment and theory. J. Phys. Chem. B, 108, 10398–10403. doi:10.1021/jp040094p