RSC Prize Lecture Prof Julia Weinstein
Lecture Theatre 4
RSC Prize winner Professor Julia Weinstein will be presenting her lecture entitled
"Light and metal chromophores: from ultrafast electron transfer to bioimaging"
The fascinating world of electron transfer - the process behind photosynthesis and catalysis, information storage and nerve signalling - still holds many secrets. If only one understands the rules that govern electron transfer, one could one day exert control over chemical reactivity. A key but elusive factor is nuclear-electronic (vibronic) coupling, known to considerably affect ultrafast photoinduced electron transfer in a vast range of biochemical systems. Yet such effects are difficult to probe due to the convolution of multiple electronic and structural processes occurring on ultrafast timescales. Modern advances in ultrafast lasers and detection methods, especially multipulse spectroscopy such as 2DIR, are making such studies ever more possible. Recently, we have shown that using an intermediate, ultrafast, infrared pulse which targets a specific vibration in the course of electron transfer, can radically alter the pathway and the outcome of the photoinduced reactions. It is especially interesting that such "IR control" effect was observed in solution, where it had been perceived that interaction with the solvent would scramble all the potential effect of any infrared excitation.
The talk will discuss several specific examples of how "IR-control" can be used, mainly in transition metal complexes, and highlighted the open questions in this exciting and promising area. Our results contribute to understanding of the interplay between vibrational and electronic processes photoinduced charge transfer processes in condensed phase, and could therefore be of broad and general significance.