Conventional electronics employs the electron’s charge to process information. An alternative route is to utilise its spin instead, promising for realising equivalent devices that operate far more energy-efficiently, but also paving the way for entirely new applications like non-volatile memory or quantum computing. Previous attempts to realise such spintronics platforms were based on inorganic magnetic materials, often requiring very low temperatures and highest material purities that involve energy-extensive fabrication processes. Within this highly interdisciplinary project, I will explore an entirely different avenue towards spin-control which is based on the concept of chirality in novel molecular self-assemblies. Together with experts in synthetic chemistry, I have designed supramolecular cages that are chiral and can also encapsulate smaller molecules inside. Upon excitation with light, an electron can be transferred from the host to the guest, and with it the desired spin based on the chosen handedness of the molecules. This enables spin storage or switching and thus to encode information. To this end, I will combine time-resolved optical and electron spectroscopy to unravel the mechanism of chirality-induced spin-selectivity in such supramolecular structures, and then employ it for spin-dependent charge transfer from host to guest, tunable through spin-orbit coupling of the chosen building blocks. As such, I will exploit the versatility of a chemical bottom-up approach combined with light-matter interactions for the first time in chiral supramolecular nanostructures for unprecedented optical spin control, dictated by molecular design. This research will open up the path to molecular spintronics applications like memory storage, sensors or logic devices for quantum computing.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeMSCA-IF-GF - Global Fellowships