Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2018
Monday–Friday, March 5–9, 2018; Los Angeles, California
Session S03: Strong Light-matter Coupling and Enhanced Spectroscopy: Theory and Simulation
11:15 AM–2:15 PM,
Thursday, March 8, 2018
LACC Room: 150C
Sponsoring Units: DCP DAMOP
Chair: Felipe Herrera, Univ de Santiago de Chile
Abstract: S03.00004 : Exploiting polaritonic chemistry to manipulate molecular structure and dynamics*
12:15 PM–12:51 PM
Strong coupling is achieved when the coherent energy exchange between a confined electromagnetic field mode and material excitations becomes faster than the decay and decoherence of either constituent. This creates a paradigmatic hybrid quantum system with eigenstates that have mixed light-matter character (polaritons). It has recently been realized that polariton formation in organic molecules also affects their internal nuclear degrees of freedom, raising the possibility to manipulate and control reactions through polaritonic chemistry. I will first discuss our theoretical approach towards modeling such systems, based on extending the well-known Born-Oppenheimer approximation to describe polaritonic potential energy surfaces. I will then show various applications, such as the possibility to completely suppress reactions such as photoisomerization, which surprisingly works more efficiently when many molecules are coupled to a single light mode due to a “collective protection” effect. Finally, I will show how polaritonic chemistry can be exploited to allow many-molecule reactions triggered by a single photon. Here, the collective nature of polaritons and the resulting formation of a "supermolecule", in which a single excitation is distributed over many molecules, can enable a reaction involving the nuclear degrees of freedom of most or even all coupled molecules. This process can overcome the Stark-Einstein law of photochemistry, which states that a single photon will only induce a reaction in a single molecule and holds for most common cases.
Finally, I will discuss future perspectives, open questions, and remaining challenges to fully exploit the potential of polaritonic chemistry.
*Funding provided by the European Research Council (ERC-2011-AdG-290981 and ERC-2016-STG-714870), by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-CIG-618229), and the Spanish MINECO (MAT2014-53432-C5-5-R, MDM-2014-0377).
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