skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on April 7, 2023

Title: Polariton relaxation under vibrational strong coupling: Comparing cavity molecular dynamics simulations against Fermi’s golden rule rate
Under vibrational strong coupling (VSC), the formation of molecular polaritons may significantly modify the photo-induced or thermal properties of molecules. In an effort to understand these intriguing modifications, both experimental and theoretical studies have focused on the ultrafast dynamics of vibrational polaritons. Here, following our recent work [Li et al., J. Chem. Phys. 154, 094124 (2021)], we systematically study the mechanism of polariton relaxation for liquid CO 2 under a weak external pumping. Classical cavity molecular dynamics (CavMD) simulations confirm that polariton relaxation results from the combined effects of (i) cavity loss through the photonic component and (ii) dephasing of the bright-mode component to vibrational dark modes as mediated by intermolecular interactions. The latter polaritonic dephasing rate is proportional to the product of the weight of the bright mode in the polariton wave function and the spectral overlap between the polariton and dark modes. Both these factors are sensitive to parameters such as the Rabi splitting and cavity mode detuning. Compared to a Fermi’s golden rule calculation based on a tight-binding harmonic model, CavMD yields a similar parameter dependence for the upper polariton relaxation lifetime but sometimes a modest disagreement for the lower polariton. We suggest that this disagreement results more » from polariton-enhanced molecular nonlinear absorption due to molecular anharmonicity, which is not included in our analytical model. We also summarize recent progress on probing nonreactive VSC dynamics with CavMD. « less
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1953701
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10328317
Journal Name:
The Journal of Chemical Physics
Volume:
156
Issue:
13
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
134106
ISSN:
0021-9606
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Interaction between light and matter results in new quantum states whose energetics can modify chemical kinetics. In the regime of ensemble vibrational strong coupling (VSC), a macroscopic number$$N$$Nof molecular transitions couple to each resonant cavity mode, yielding two hybrid light–matter (polariton) modes and a reservoir of$$N-1$$N1dark states whose chemical dynamics are essentially those of the bare molecules. This fact is seemingly in opposition to the recently reported modification of thermally activated ground electronic state reactions under VSC. Here we provide a VSC Marcus–Levich–Jortner electron transfer model that potentially addresses this paradox: although entropy favors the transit through dark-state channels, the chemical kinetics can be dictated by a few polaritonic channels with smaller activation energies. The effects of catalytic VSC are maximal at light–matter resonance, in agreement with experimental observations.

  2. Abstract

    Recent experiments demonstrate the control of chemical reactivities by coupling molecules inside an optical microcavity. In contrast, transition state theory predicts no change of the reaction barrier height during this process. Here, we present a theoretical explanation of the cavity modification of the ground state reactivity in the vibrational strong coupling (VSC) regime in polariton chemistry. Our theoretical results suggest that the VSC kinetics modification is originated from the non-Markovian dynamics of the cavity radiation mode that couples to the molecule, leading to the dynamical caging effect of the reaction coordinate and the suppression of reaction rate constant for a specific range of photon frequency close to the barrier frequency. We use a simple analytical non-Markovian rate theory to describe a single molecular system coupled to a cavity mode. We demonstrate the accuracy of the rate theory by performing direct numerical calculations of the transmission coefficients with the same model of the molecule-cavity hybrid system. Our simulations and analytical theory provide a plausible explanation of the photon frequency dependent modification of the chemical reactivities in the VSC polariton chemistry.

  3. We use classical cavity molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the effect of optical cavity environment on vibrational energy transfer and relaxation. For a small fraction of vibrationally hot CO2 molecules immersed in a liquid-phase CO2 thermal bath, in a cavity that supports a cavity mode in resonance with the CO asymmetric stretch vibration, forming collective vibrational strong coupling (VSC) and a cavity mode accelerates hot molecule relaxation. This acceleration stems from the fact that polaritons can be transiently excited during the nonequilibrium process, which facilitates intermolecular vibrational energy transfer. The VSC effects on these rates (i) resonantly depend on the cavity mode detuning, (ii) cooperatively depend on Rabi splitting, and (iii) collectively scale with the number of hot molecules. This behavior weakens with increasing cavity size (at constant molecular density), that is, constant Rabi splitting) but remains meaningful up to cavities containing 10^4 molecules
  4. We simulate vibrational strong coupling (VSC) and vibrational ultrastrong coupling (V-USC) for liquid water with classical molecular dynamics simulations. When the cavity modes are resonantly coupled to the O−H stretch mode of liquid water, the infrared spectrum shows asymmetric Rabi splitting. The lower polariton (LP) may be suppressed or enhanced relative to the upper polariton (UP) depending on the frequency of the cavity mode. Moreover, although the static properties and the translational diffusion of water are not changed under VSC or V-USC, we do find the modification of the orientational autocorrelation function of H2O molecules especially under V-USC, which could play a role in ground-state chemistry.

  5. Abstract Engineering the properties of quantum materials via strong light-matter coupling is a compelling research direction with a multiplicity of modern applications. Those range from modifying charge transport in organic molecules, steering particle correlation and interactions, and even controlling chemical reactions. Here, we study the modification of the material properties via strong coupling and demonstrate an effective inversion of the excitonic band-ordering in a monolayer of WSe 2 with spin-forbidden, optically dark ground state. In our experiments, we harness the strong light-matter coupling between cavity photon and the high energy, spin-allowed bright exciton, and thus creating two bright polaritonic modes in the optical bandgap with the lower polariton mode pushed below the WSe 2 dark state. We demonstrate that in this regime the commonly observed luminescence quenching stemming from the fast relaxation to the dark ground state is prevented, which results in the brightening of this intrinsically dark material. We probe this effective brightening by temperature-dependent photoluminescence, and we find an excellent agreement with a theoretical model accounting for the inversion of the band ordering and phonon-assisted polariton relaxation.