The geometric property of chirality relates to objects that cannot be superimposed onto their mirror images. It is fundamental across all hierarchies of nature, from interactions of elementary particles to macroscopic living systems.
It is related in biology to recognition between biomolecules and structure-function relations. Most biological molecules are only functional as one mirror image (or handedness) of the chiral molecule, i.e. biological systems exhibit "homochirality". For these reasons, chirality is a key aspect in biology, organic chemistry and drug design.
In our work chirality is introduced into inorganic nanocrystals, where it is less commonly observed and studied. I will give a brief overview of cases in which chiral inorganic nanocrystals are used as model systems to study fundamental questions related to chirality that are impossible (or very challenging) to address in organic systems and/or macroscopic crystals. These span several disciplines in science, from studies of crystallization phenomena, through spin dependence of electronic properties, and all the way to chiral effects in weak nuclear interactions.
Speaker: Assaf Ben-Moshe, UC Berkeley
The speaker originally scheduled for this date, Xiaoqing Pan, UC Irvine, will be rescheduled for next semester.
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