june, 2021

23jun15:0016:00FeaturedVirtual EventAttoChem webinar (D. Ayuso)Ultrafast, all-optical, and highly enantio-sensitive imaging of molecular chirality

Event Details

David Ayuso, Imperial College London (UK)
“Ultrafast, all-optical, and highly enantio-sensitive imaging of molecular chirality”
Chair: Caterina Vozzi (caterina.vozzi@cnr.it)

Abstract: Chirality, or handedness, is a geometrical property of light and matter. Chiral molecules
appear in pairs of left- and right-handed enantiomers, two non-superimposable “mirror twins”. They
behave identically unless interacting with another chiral “object”. Distinguishing them is vital, as, for
instance, most biomolecules are chiral, and thus the interactions between them are enantio-sensitive.
Traditional chiro-optical methods rely on the electronic response of matter to both the electric and
magnetic components of a circularly polarised wave, i.e. on the chiral molecule “feeling” the spatial
helix of the light field. However, the pitch of this helix is usually orders of magnitude larger the
molecules, leading to extremely weak chiro-optical signals and a justified impression that chiral
discrimination is difficult, especially on ultrafast time scales.
In this talk, I will present three ways of imaging molecular chirality using tailored light, which enable
high enantio-sensitivity on ultrafast time scales.
First, I will introduce synthetic chiral light, which is locally chiral: tip of the electric field vector
draws a chiral, three-dimensional Lissajous curve in time, at each fixed point in space. It allows us to
suppress the nonlinear optical response of a selected molecular enantiomer while maximising it in its
mirror twin. I will then show how to structure light’s local handedness in space to realise an
enantio-sensitive interferometer, which can be seen as a chiral version of Young’s double slit
experiment. Finally, I will show how to exploit the transverse spin arising upon spatial confinement of
ultrashort laser pulses for efficient chiral recognition.

To register for this event, please, follow this link: https://brightelm.eventsair.com/attochem-webinar-series-2021/reg/Site/Register

If you have already registered but have not received the link to the webinar, please contact: Attochem@brightelm.co.uk



(Wednesday) 15:00 - 16:00


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