Ultrafast road to extremely efficient chiral light matter interaction ( Prof. Olga Smirnova)

Ultrafast road to extremely efficient chiral light matter interaction

  • Date: Nov 25, 2019
  • Time: 14:30
  • Speaker: Prof. Olga Smirnova
  • Max-Born-Institut, Berlin
  • Location: Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
  • Room: Herbert Walther Lecture Hall
Chirality plays a key role in physics, chemistry and biology. In the molecular world, the non-superimposable mirror twins of the same chiral molecule – the left-handed and right handed enantiomers – have the same physical properties unless they interact with another chiral object. Distinguishing left- and right-handed molecular enantiomers is very challenging, especially on ultrafast time scale, with standard all-optical techniques leading to extremely weak chiral signals.

I will describe new, extremely efficient approaches to chiral discrimination, which take advantage of ultrafast electronic response [1,2]. In particular, I will describe the new concept of synthetic chiral light [3], which can be used to trigger bright nonlinear optical response in the molecule of a desired handedness while keeping its mirror twin dark in the same frequency range. The simplicity of generating synthetic chiral light in a laboratory opens a broad field of shaping and controlling chiral matter with light. I will also outline the potential for chiral discrimination enabled by using few-cycle, carrier-phase stable laser pulses.

[1] S Beaulieu et al, Photoexcitation circular dichroism in chiral molecules, Nature Physics 14 (5), 484,2018

[2] AF Ordonez, O Smirnova, Generalized perspective on chiral measurements without magnetic interactions, Physical Review A 98 (6), 063428, 2018

[3] David Ayuso et al, Synthetic chiral light for efficient control of chiral light–matter interaction, Nature Photonics, 2019, doi: 10.1038/s41566-019-0531-2


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