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Robert Bergman Lecture in Organic Chemistry

September 21, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Michael R. Wasielewski, Clare Hamilton Hall Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University
Photogenerated Spin-Correlated Radical Pairs: From Photosynthetic Energy Transduction to Quantum Information Science
Abstract: More than a half-century ago, the NMR spectra of diamagnetic products resulting from organic radical pair reactions were observed to have strongly enhanced absorptive and emissive resonances. At the same time, photogenerated radical pairs were discovered to exhibit unusual electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra having similar resonances. These non-Boltzmann, spin-polarized spectra were observed in both chemical systems as well as in photosynthetic reaction center proteins following photo-driven charge separation. Subsequent studies of these phenomena led to a variety of chemical electron donor-acceptor model systems that provided a broad understanding of the spin dynamics responsible for these spectra. When the distance between the two radicals is restricted, these observations result from the formation of spin-correlated radical pairs (SCRPs) in which the spin-spin exchange and dipolar interactions between the two unpaired spins play an important role in the spin dynamics. Early on, it was recognized that SCRPs photogenerated by ultrafast electron transfer are entangled spin pairs created in a well-defined spin state. These SCRPs can serve as spin qubit pairs (SQPs), whose spin dynamics can be manipulated to study a wide variety of quantum phenomena intrinsic to the field of quantum information science. This lecture will highlight the role of SCRPs as potential SQPs, giving examples of possible quantum manipulations using SQPs, and providing some thoughts on future directions.


September 21, 2021
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


120 Latimer Hall