Together with Claudiu Genes, we are organizing a workshop on Molecular Polaritonics 2019: Theoretical and Numerical Approaches, which will take place on July 9-10 in Miraflores de la Sierra, a small village in the mountains near Madrid. We here include the motivation/introduction for the workshop:
Traditional nanophotonics is concerned with engineering material systems to control light on a nanometer scale. However, over the last years, it has become clear that the reverse is also possible, i.e., to engineer light modes so as to modify material properties and dynamics. Confining light modes to small volumes (optical or microwave cavities, waveguides, fibers, plasmonic structures, etc.) provides a platform for strong coherent light-matter interactions at the quantum level. Remarkably, this can be achieved even when no actual light is present in the system by engineering the electromagnetic vacuum and its fluctuations, chiefly through the effect of strong coupling, which occurs when the coherent energy exchange between a (confined) light mode and material excitations becomes faster than the decay and decoherence of either constituent. This creates a paradigmatic hybrid quantum system with eigenstates that have mixed light-matter character, so-called polaritons. Organic molecules present a particularly favorable type of emitter to achieve this regime even at room temperature due to their large dipole moments and stability. Polariton formation leads to changes in the excited-state and even ground-state character and energy levels, which can affect a wide range of properties, such as energy transport, photochemical reactions, and even thermally driven ground-state chemical reactions. At the same time, nuclear motion and exciton-phonon coupling strongly affects and determines molecular and material properties from single molecules to the meso- and macroscopic scale, and has been shown to play an important role also in the context of light-matter coupling.
The workshop aims to bring together researchers with expertise in complementary aspects of this highly interdisciplinary field, covering topics such as quantum optics & open quantum systems, quantum chemistry, condensed matter & many-body physics, and macroscopic QED. The goal is to discuss the current state of theoretical approaches and facilitate communication between different fields, as well as to understand fundamental aspects of the important mechanisms at play and to assess and discuss current and possible future applications and technological promises of molecular polaritonics. The workshop will be held in a highly interactive format, with ample time for discussions and informal interactions.