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Polariton chemistry: Molecules in optical cavities

Joel Yuen-Zhou

Organic molecules interact strongly with confined electromagnetic fields in plasmonic arrays or optical microcavities owing to their bright transition dipole moments. This interaction gives rise to molecular polaritons, hybrid light-matter quasiparticles. Molecular polaritonics opens doors for new room-temperature opportunities for the nontrivial control of physico-chemical properties of molecular assemblies [1]. In this talk, I’ll showcase some of these opportunities that we have been theoretically (and, together with our experimental collaborators) exploring in the past few years. I will briefly discuss the relevant time and energy scales associated with molecular polaritons [1,2] and strategies to exploit them to control photoexcited processes including singlet fission [3], triplet harvesting [4], remote and topologically-protected energy transfer [5-7], and anomalous nonlinear optical effects [8,9,10]. Finally, I will conclude by explaining how vibrational polaritons can steer ground-state chemical reactions even in the absence of optical pumping [11], or be used to realize exotic processes such as remote control of chemical reactions [12].

Speaker: Joel Yuen-Zhou, UC San Diego

Tuesday, 02/18/20


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Latimer Hall

UC Berkeley
Room 120
Berkeley, CA 94720