Seminar: Eric Potma [UCI]
Talking to individual molecules with short flashes of light
Oct 20, 2016 11:00 AM to Oct 20, 2016 12:00 PM at Building 8 - Room 241
Fundamental molecular motions, such as chemical bond vibrations, take place on the femto- to pico-second timescales. At these short instances, decisions about making and breaking a chemical bond are made. Naturally, chemists would like to have a close-up view of such motions, as they form the basis of chemical conversion and reactivity. Unfortunately, these motions are not only too fast to capture with standard techniques, they also are random and unsynchronized. To retrieve a clear and representative movie of these relevant molecular motions, we would have to look at a single molecule and time-resolve its vibrational dynamics. So far, recording such movies on a single molecule level has been out of reach for scientists, although some attempts have gotten very close. In this talk, I will describe one of these attempts. Specifically, I will discuss nonlinear optical experiments on single molecules, which make use of concepts borrowed from quantum mechanics, antenna theory, the concept of coherence, and ultrafast optics.