FIP Virtual Student Seminar "Exploiting molecular coherences for directed energy flow"

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Wed, 07/14/2021 - 12:00 to 13:00

Jesus Valdiviezo


Jesus Valdiviezo, Chemistry Ph.D. Candidate, Duke University


The wave-like properties of matter at the nanoscale allows electronic and vibrational states to remain quantum coherent when a fixed phase and amplitude is present between different states. However, random fluctuation of the environment causes coherence to be short-lived. Sustaining coherence could enhance function in chemical systems, allowing them to harvest and transmit energy and information. I will discuss the collaborative effort of the Center for Synthesizing Quantum Coherence (CSQC) to construct covalently linked, strongly coupled light-harvesting complexes based on porphyrin arrays that exhibit efficient energy transfer assisted by coherent, non-thermal processes. We first studied the photophysical properties of the compounds using time-dependent density functional theory. The computed energy and electron transfer parameters were used to simulate the excited state dynamics employing quantum dynamics tools. Our computational results guided the synthesis and spectroscopic characterization of the multichromophoric systems, which could collect and direct energy via non-thermal quantum mechanisms.

Jesús Valdiviezo is a fifth-year Ph.D. in Chemistry candidate and an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering student. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico, and was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to support his graduate studies at Duke. His research in Prof. David Beratan’s group focuses on studying electron and energy transfer processes in molecules and nanostructures employing theoretical and computational approaches.