Cavity-Controlled Chemistry in Molecular Ensembles

Felipe Herrera, Frank C. Spano
  • Physical Review Letters, June 2016, American Physical Society (APS)
  • DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.116.238301

Collective Chemistry in Optical Cavities

What is it about?

We show that an electron transfer reaction can occur order of magnitude faster inside an optical cavity than in free space. The mechanism behind this surprising enhancement involves a single cavity photon suppressing the nuclear motions that a transferred electron encounters in its way from donor to acceptor.

Why is it important?

This work brings quantum optics and chemical dynamics together for the first time.

Perspectives

Dr Felipe Herrera
Universidad de Santiago de Chile

This work is about an important class of chemical reactions, electron transfer, that can be enhanced by orders of magnitude by the simple fact of placing the reactants in an optical cavity that strongly drives an electronic transition in the electron donor. We show that the mechanism for this reaction rate enhancement has to do with a single photon suppressing the nuclear motions that a transferred electron encounters in its way from donor to acceptor. This work brings quantum optics and chemical dynamics together for the first time.

Read Publication

http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/physrevlett.116.238301

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Felipe Herrera