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Creators/Authors contains: "Yuen-Zhou, Joel"

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  1. Abstract

    Strong coupling between electronic excitations in materials and photon modes results in the formation of polaritons, which display larger nonlinearities than their photonic counterparts due to their material component. We theoretically investigate how to optically control the topological properties of molecular and solid-state exciton–polariton systems by exploiting one such nonlinearity: saturation of electronic transitions. We demonstrate modification of the Berry curvature of three different materials when placed within a Fabry–Perot cavity and pumped with circularly polarized light, illustrating the broad applicability of our scheme. Importantly, while optical pumping leads to nonzero Chern invariants, unidirectional edge states do not emerge in our system as the bulk-boundary correspondence is not applicable. This work demonstrates a versatile approach to control topological properties of novel optoelectronic materials.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 12, 2024
  2. Two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy resolves ultrafast chemical dynamics in Fe(CO) 5 under vibrational strong coupling. 
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  3. Abstract

    We investigate electroabsorption (EA) in organic semiconductor microcavities to understand whether strong light-matter coupling non-trivially alters their nonlinear optical [$${\chi }^{(3)}\left(\omega,{{{{\mathrm{0,0}}}}}\right)$$χ(3)ω,0, 0] response. Focusing on strongly-absorbing squaraine (SQ) molecules dispersed in a wide-gap host matrix, we find that classical transfer matrix modeling accurately captures the EA response of low concentration SQ microcavities with a vacuum Rabi splitting of$$\hslash \Omega \approx 200$$Ω200meV, but fails for high concentration cavities with$$\hslash \Omega \approx 420$$Ω420meV. Rather than new physics in the ultrastrong coupling regime, however, we attribute the discrepancy at high SQ concentration to a nearly dark H-aggregate state below the SQ exciton transition, which goes undetected in the optical constant dispersion on which the transfer matrix model is based, but nonetheless interacts with and enhances the EA response of the lower polariton mode. These results indicate that strong coupling can be used to manipulate EA (and presumably other optical nonlinearities) from organic microcavities by controlling the energy of polariton modes relative to other states in the system, but it does not alter the intrinsic optical nonlinearity of the organic semiconductor inside the cavity.

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  4. Abstract

    When molecular transitions strongly couple to photon modes, they form hybrid light-matter modes called polaritons. Collective vibrational strong coupling is a promising avenue for control of chemistry, but this can be deterred by the large number of quasi-degenerate dark modes. The macroscopic occupation of a single polariton mode by excitations, as observed in Bose-Einstein condensation, offers promise for overcoming this issue. Here we theoretically investigate the effect of vibrational polariton condensation on the kinetics of electron transfer processes. Compared with excitation with infrared laser sources, the vibrational polariton condensate changes the reaction yield significantly at room temperature due to additional channels with reduced activation barriers resulting from the large accumulation of energy in the lower polariton, and the many modes available for energy redistribution during the reaction. Our results offer tantalizing opportunities to use condensates for driving chemical reactions, kinetically bypassing usual constraints of fast intramolecular vibrational redistribution in condensed phase.

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  5. In organic microcavities, hybrid light-matter states can form with energies that differ from the bare molecular excitation energies by nearly 1 eV. A timely question, given the recent advances in the development of thermally activated delayed fluorescence materials, is whether strong light-matter coupling can be used to invert the ordering of singlet and triplet states and, in addition, enhance reverse intersystem crossing (RISC) rates. Here, we demonstrate a complete inversion of the singlet lower polariton and triplet excited states. We also unambiguously measure the RISC rate in strongly coupled organic microcavities and find that, regardless of the large energy level shifts, it is unchanged compared to films of the bare molecules. This observation is a consequence of slow RISC to the lower polariton due to the delocalized nature of the state across many molecules and an inability to compete with RISC to the dark exciton reservoir. 
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  6. 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.

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