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Chemistry Seminar Presented by Prof. Joel Yuen-Zhou: "Polariton Chemistry: Challenges and Prospects"

 Prof. Joel Yuen-Zhou
Thursday, April 06, 2023
11:40 am - 1:10 pm
Prof. Joel Yuen-Zhou, University of California, San Diego
Chemistry Department Seminar Series

"Polariton Chemistry: Challenges and Prospects"

The strong coupling of molecular transitions to photonic modes in optical microcavities gives rise to hybrid light-matter modes known as polaritons. In recent years, there has been much interest in polariton chemistry, namely, the use of polaritons to control chemical and material properties and processes. However, the mechanisms whereby polaritons can control chemistry are still rather opaque. In this talk, I will discuss the "large N problem" in polariton chemistry, where the formation of two polariton modes occurs at the expense of having N-1~〖10〗^6-〖10〗^12 dark modes which under many circumstances have similar behavior as bare molecular excitations. I will showcase a class of models that benefit from the existence of polaritons even at thermal equilibrium and offer some hypotheses about what might be happening in experiments.

Next, I will discuss strategies to ameliorate the large N problem by using concepts of (a) cavity optomechanics, (b) polariton condensates, and (c) non-equilibrium initialization of polaritons. In particular, I will emphasize a powerful and elegant computational tool that we have recently developed to efficiently simulate the polariton chemistry problem, and showcase interesting experimental scenarios of polariton mediated photophysics and photochemistry where these tools offer tremendous insights.

To learn more about the Yuen-Zhou lab and their research, please visit:

Faculty Host: Prof. Weitao Yang