SAMOP 2021 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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SYCU: Symposium Chirality meets ultrafast

SYCU 1: Chirality meets ultrafast

SYCU 1.2: Hauptvortrag

Dienstag, 21. September 2021, 14:30–14:45, Audimax

Ultrafast, all-optical, and highly enantio-sensitive imaging of molecular chirality — •David Ayuso — Department of Physics, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom — Max-Born-Institut, Berlin, Germany

Chiral molecules appear in pairs of opposite mirror twins called enantiomers, which behave identically unless interacting with another chiral object. Distinguishing them is vital, but also hard. Traditional optical methods rely on the molecules feeling the spatial helix of circularly polarized light. However, the pitch of this helix is too large, leading to weak enantio-sensitivity and making chiral discrimination difficult, especially on ultrafast time scales. In other words, the enantio-sensitive component of the optical response is weak because it arises beyond the electric-dipole approximation.

In this talk, I will present new ways of imaging molecular chirality using tailored light. I will show how, by shaping the Lissajous figure that the tip of the electric-field vector of the laser draws in time, we can make the nonlinear response of chiral molecules highly enantio-sensitive, already in the electric-dipole approximation. A key ingredient of our recipe is the longitudinal field component that arises in a non-collinear geometry [Ayuso et al, Nat Photon 13, 866 (2019)] or in a tightly focused beam [Ayuso et al, arXiv:2011.07873 (2020)]. The possibility of generating strongly enantio-sensitive signals via purely electric-dipole interactions creates new opportunities for highly enantio-sensitive imaging and control of molecular chirality and ultrafast chiral dynamics.

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