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ManipULation of photoinduced processes bY reshaping tranSition StatEs via transient Strong coupling

Project description

Revolutionising photochemistry with transient polaritonic control

Photochemistry is a branch of chemistry that involves the study of chemical reactions that are induced by light. It has a range of applications in various industries. It involves the use of external laser stimulation and chemical modification to efficiently manipulate molecules into useful products. The EU-funded ULYSSES project aims to revolutionise the field of photochemistry by developing a novel chemical process that utilises light to enable efficient and accurate real-time manipulation and chemical control of molecules, leading to countless possibilities for innovation. The key innovation in the project is the introduction of transient polaritonic control, which makes use of polaritons that are activated on demand in optical nanocavities.


Photochemistry deals with the light-assisted transformation of molecules into useful products. These processes are routinely manipulated by chemical modification and external laser driving. Femtosecond coherent control uses ultrashort pulses to initiate and actively modulate a chemical reaction. However successful control of efficiency and specificity of a chemical process is still awaited.
ULYSSES proposes a radical departure from the way chemical processes are currently controlled by light. I will introduce an innovative “transient polaritonic control” for manipulation of photoinduced processes, using polaritons (hybrid light-matter states in strong coupling regime) activated on demand in optical nanocavities. I will exploit tunable resonances in metasurfaces (nanostructure arrays) excited by ultrashort pulses for controlling the energy landscape of molecules. Reconfigurable molecular/metasurface “metacavities” will switch on/off strong coupling for real-time selective reshaping of transition states, that I will apply to the proof-of-principle control of a photoisomerization reaction.
The project proposes a paradigm-shift in coherent control through three objectives, combining physical chemistry with ultrafast nanophotonics, which perfectly suit my scientific profile.
1) Develop a novel multidimensional “kD Spectroscopy” for characterizing fundamental processes in strongly coupled systems with the unprecedented combination of temporal and momentum resolutions.
2) Design and characterize reconfigurable metasurfaces with ultrafast all-optical tuning of resonances to enable transient strong coupling.
3) Demonstrate the manipulation of the energy landscape of a photoisomerization by reshaping the transition states via transient strong coupling in a metacavity.
I foresee my unique approach will transform chemical control by enabling real-time manipulation of the desired reaction pathways with potential for quantum chemistry, remote control, site-selectivity, catalysis.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 1 497 100,00
20133 Milano

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Nord-Ovest Lombardia Milano
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 497 100,00

Beneficiaries (1)