Modification of Molecular structure Under Strong Coupling to confined Light modES

ERC Starting Grant, PI: Johannes Feist
Condensed Matter Physics Center (IFIMAC) and Departamento de Física Teórica de la Materia Condensada
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.



MMUSCLES is an ERC-funded research project that focuses on polaritonic chemistry, i.e., the manipulation of chemical structure that can be achieved through strong coupling between confined light modes and organic molecules. Understanding and controlling the properties of matter is one of the overarching goals of modern science. A powerful way to achieve is this by using light, usually in the form of intense laser beams. However, modern advances in nanophotonics allow us to confine light modes so strongly that their effect on matter is felt even when no external fields are present. In this regime of "strong coupling" or "vacuum Rabi splitting", the fundamental excitations of the coupled system are hybrid light-matter states which combine the properties of both constituents, so-called polaritons. This has recently been shown to significantly alter the chemical structure of the coupled molecules, which opens the possibility to manipulate and control reactions.

We are developing theoretical methods that can treat these modifications of molecular structure. These methods combine well-known techniques from quantum chemistry and quantum optics. The research group is located at the Departamento de Física Teórica de la Materia Condensada within the Condensed Matter Physics Center (IFIMAC) at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.