From 2020 to 2025 the Solomon Group has a large project under an ERC consolidator grant.
Project period: 2020-2025
Over the last ten years, there has been a growing interest in quantum interference effects observed in molecules. Remarkably, given their fragility in mesoscopic physics, molecular quantum interference effects can be readily observed at room temperature in solution. This robustness comes from the extremely small size of the molecular components (1-2nm) and thereby the small dimensions over which phase coherence is required.
The aim of this project is to challenge the limits of molecular quantum interference effects delivering clear predictions of how to realise these effects in three challenge areas.
- Beyond single molecules: intermolecular interference effects.
This work package will investigate interference effects between molecules and in monolayers to find systems where intermolecular interference effects emerge with a long-term view to materials.
- Beyond classical electronics: Quantum gates
Given that interference effects are an indication of phase coherence being maintained across the molecule, we should be able to exploit the quantum nature of the system for more than simply suppressing current. Proposals exist in the literature for realising a quantum computer through scattering, so this work package will investigate use the interference effects in molecules to suggest candidate systems for this type of quantum computer.
- Beyond electron transport: Controlling vibrational energy redistribution
This work package will focus on how to use interference effects to control vibrational energy redistribution within single molecules with an aim of using this to modulate product ratios in organic reactions.
This project takes ideas that have come out of molecular electronics and tests the scope of their application in three neighbouring areas: supramolecular chemistry, quantum computing and organic chemistry. This project takes a first step in these directions, and success in any work package has the possibility to open a whole new field of research.
3 PhD students to be hired
2-3 experimental postdocs to be hired