Electron transfer is an important part of many natural processes, including the light harvesting process by which plants create and store energy through photosynthesis.
He added: “In creating this ‘molecular fork’, we now have the ability to model natural molecular processes, such as photosynthesis.
“If we can replicate how energy is stored and utilised, then we have the basis to develop exciting new molecular technologies for the future.
“From new ways of capturing and storing the energy coming to us from the sun, to developing new forms of computing technology, this research opens up some exciting new opportunities.”
The university says the ability to direct charge along one of several pathways can be used for information storage and retrieval in computing, using low-energy red light.
The research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).